Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family. It can also come with some dangers.
What happens if a smoke detector is sounding or somebody is shouting out your name but you can’t hear them? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that could be signaling an approaching threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should worry about. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you need to do. Here are a few recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re wearing their hearing aid.
1. Bring a friend with you when you go out
Bring somebody with good hearing out with you if you can. If that’s not possible, request that people face you when talking to you so that you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Stay focused when you’re driving
It’s important to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and avoid your phone and GPS. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Consider a service animal
You think of service dogs as helpful for people with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other conditions. But they can also be very helpful to people who have auditory challenges. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.
Not only can they assist you with these challenges, but they also make a great companion.
4. Have a plan
Know what you’ll do before an emergency strikes. Speak with people in your life about it. For example, be sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act rapidly to help you.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues while driving
Your hearing loss has most likely gotten worse over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you might find yourself relying more on your eyes. You may not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your limitations with family and friends
No one wants to admit that they have hearing loss, but those close to you need to be aware of it. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you might have missed. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle
As a person living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These can signal a serious problem. Your car could take serious damage and your safety could be in danger if these noises aren’t addressed. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Get your hearing impairment treated
If you want to be safe, having your hearing loss treated is essential. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, get 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 remain safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.