Living with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family members. It can also come with some hazards.
What if you can’t hear a fire alarm or somebody yelling your name? Car sounds can signal dangers ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. The first thing that somebody with untreated hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing test. Here are several recommendations to help keep people with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they’re wearing their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
Bring somebody with healthy hearing out with you if possible. If you need to go out alone, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
It’s essential to stay focused while driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and avoid your GPS and phone. If you think you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service dog
For individuals who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be very helpful to those who have auditory issues. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. They can inform you when someone is at your door.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also great companions.
4. Make a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency strikes. Talk to others in your life about it. 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, choose a designated location that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual clues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. You might need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t routinely get your hearing aids calibrated. You may not hear sirens so be aware of flashing lights. When kids or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra alert.
6. Share your limitations with friends and family
No one wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but those close to you need to be aware of it. They can alert you to something you may not hear so that you can go to safety. If they don’t know that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As somebody 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 significant damage and your safety could be at risk if these sounds aren’t addressed. It’s a smart idea to ask a trustworthy mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Manage your hearing loss
If you want to be safe, having your hearing loss treated is vital. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing screened annually. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids today are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.