Living with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your loved ones. It can also come with some perils.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or somebody yelling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that may be signaling an impending hazard.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. The first thing that a person with untreated hearing loss should do is get a hearing exam. For those with hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe, even when you aren’t likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
If you can, bring somebody with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If that’s not possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so they are easier to hear.
2. Stay focused when you’re driving
It’s essential to remain focused while 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 stay away from your GPS and phone. Before driving, if you are worried that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
Don’t feel ashamed if you need to turn off the radio or request that passengers stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for people with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you have auditory challenges, they can also be very helpful. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. They can let you know when somebody is at your door.
Not only can they assist you with these issues, but they also make a great companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency occurs, prepare a plan. Talk it over it with other people. For example, make sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, plan a specified spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act quickly to assist you.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are nearby, be extra alert.
6. Let family and friends know about your limitations
Nobody wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but those in your life need to know. You may 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. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car may begin making unusual noises that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can indicate a serious problem. If dismissed, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you at risk. It’s a smart idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Get your hearing loss treated
If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is vital. Have your hearing tested yearly to identify when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.