There are two types of vacations, right? One kind is full of activities at all times. This kind will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the adventures will be remembered for years to come.
The other kind is all about unwinding. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or maybe you’re getting pampered at some resort for your whole vacation. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.
Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on whichever kind of vacation you take.
Hearing loss can spoil a vacation
There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no idea they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their television louder and louder.
But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be lessened with some proven strategies, and that’s the good news. The first move, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more prepared you are before you go, the easier it will be to lessen any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real problem. Some common illustrations include the following:
- You miss significant notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted as well. After all, you could miss out on the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Meaningful moments with friends and family can be missed: Everyone loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
- Language barriers are even more difficult: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very noisy, makes it much more difficult.
A number of these negative outcomes can be avoided by simply using your hearing aids. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?
That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and fairly stress-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice regardless of how strong your hearing is.
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 plan: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more obstacles).
- Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you leave on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help avoid issues from happening while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good idea.
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is the worst! Always make sure you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? Well, possibly, check with your airline. Some types of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Many people have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to understand before you go to the airport.
- Should I be aware of my rights? Before you leave it’s never a bad idea to become familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you must have access to information. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you think you’re missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That depends, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This is a basic wire device (although 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.
- Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So you should be using your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in a really noisy place, swimming, or showering.
- How useful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely useful! You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some stress off your ears.
- Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? You won’t need to turn off your hearing aids when you hear that “all electronics must be off” announcement. But it’s a good idea to enable flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be hard to hear so make sure you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
- Do I need to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You won’t be required to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. It’s generally a good plan to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. Don’t ever let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices create.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. Not everything is going to go right all the time. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a good attitude.
That way, when something unforeseen happens (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
Of course, the flip side to that is that preparation can make a difference. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.
For individuals who have hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by having your hearing assessed and making certain you have the hardware and care you need. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.
Still have some questions or concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!