There are a couple of types of vacations, right? There’s the kind where you cram every single activity you can into every single second. These are the vacations that are remembered for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more tired than you left.
Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These kinds of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.
There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. But untreated hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you choose.
Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss
There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no clue they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv louder and louder.
The good news is that there are some proven ways to minimize the effect hearing loss could have on your vacation. The first step, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to lessen any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can hearing loss effect your vacation
So how can your next vacation be adversely effected by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. Individually, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real problem. Here are a few common instances:
- You can miss important moments with friends and family: Everyone loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
- You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
- Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute chaos.
- Language barriers become even more tricky: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But untreated hearing loss can make it even harder to understand voices (particularly in a noisy setting).
Some of these negative outcomes can be prevented by simply wearing your hearing aids. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to take care of your hearing needs before you go.
How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss
That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. That’s nowhere near true! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and fairly hassle-free. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is definitely good travel advice.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:
- Pre-planning is a good idea: When you have to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can present some challenges, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as possible.
- Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries went dead. Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, check with your airline. You might need to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart idea to make certain your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help avoid problems from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good idea.
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or possibly it’s the airways. Many people have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to understand before you head to the airport.
- How helpful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely useful! You can use your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct kind of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
- Do I need to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor style X-ray devices generate.
- Should I be aware of my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s good to become familiar with your rights before you travel. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you have to have access to information. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer a solution.
- Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? When they announce that it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You may also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements throughout the flight that are hard to hear.
- Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than usual? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or going for a swim (or in a super loud environment), you should be wearing your devices.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on which airport it is and what time of day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This is a basic wire device (though you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are noisy and chaotic.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. Not everything is going to go right all the time. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive attitude.
That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable challenge arises.
But you will be surprised less if you make good preparations. When something goes amiss, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.
Having a hearing examination and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for individuals with hearing loss. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.
Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!