Coping with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family. It can also come with some perils.
What if you can’t hear a smoke detector or someone calling your name? Car noises can indicate dangers ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to stress over. The first thing that someone with untreated hearing loss should do is get a hearing assessment. Here are a few tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
Bring someone with healthy hearing out with you if possible. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when talking to you so they are easier to hear.
2. Stay focused when you’re driving
It’s important to stay focused while driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to reroute. If you think you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
If there are moments while you’re driving that you may need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no shame. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service animal
You think of service animals as helpful for those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be really helpful. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. They can let you know when somebody is at your door.
They can assist you with your hearing issues and they are also wonderful companions.
4. Have a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency happens. Discuss it with others. As an example, be certain your family knows that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, plan a designated spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues while driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you might find yourself relying more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so be aware of flashing lights. Be extra attentive when pedestrians are around.
6. Let family and friends know about your limitations
It may be hard to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life know about your hearing loss. They can warn you about something you may not hear so that you can get to safety. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might begin making strange sounds that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These can indicate a serious problem. Your car could take significant damage and your safety might be at risk if these noises aren’t addressed. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Have your hearing impairment treated
If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is essential. In order to know if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing tested yearly. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.