Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? One type is Packed with activities the whole time. These are the vacations that are remembered for years later and are packed with adventure, and you go back to work more exhausted than you left.
The other kind is all about unwinding. You may not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you spend the entire time on the beach with some drinks. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the whole time. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.
Everyone has their own concept of the perfect vacation. Whichever way you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, especially if you don’t know you have it. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. They just keep cranking the volume on their television up and up and up.
But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. The first step, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The impact that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are ahead of time.
How can hearing loss impact your vacation
So how can your next vacation be negatively impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. Individually, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to add up it can become a real issue. Some common examples include the following:
- You can miss important moments with family and friends: Everybody loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
- Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s difficult enough to overcome a language barrier. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very noisy, makes it much more difficult.
- 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, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
- Important notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing out of whack.
A number of these negative situations can be averted by simply using your hearing aids. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation on track.
How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. That’s not at all true! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively hassle-free. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how strong your hearing is.
You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative effect on your vacation, here are a few things you can do:
- Pre-planning is a smart idea: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can present some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as you can.
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is the worst! Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? Well, possibly, check with your airline. You might be required to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
- Clean your hearing aids: Before you go out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. This can help prevent problems from happening while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good idea.
Hearing aid travel tips
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Before you head out to the airport, there are a few things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely know about.
- Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is very useful! You can utilize your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You may be able to take some strain off your ears if you can use your phone in this way.
- Can I use my hearing aids on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good plan to activate flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements could be difficult to hear so be certain that you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to remove my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. 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 style X-ray devices produce.
- Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than normal? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, taking a shower, or swimming (or in an extremely loud setting), you should be wearing your devices.
- Should I know my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s good to familiarize yourself with your rights before you go. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it boils down to this: information has to be accessible to you. So if you think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer help.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help individuals who have hearing aids hear their environment better.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential to have a good attitude and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.
That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable obstacle happens.
However, the flip side to that is that preparation can go a long way. With the right preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.
Getting a hearing exam and making sure you have the right equipment is usually the start of that preparation for people who have hearing loss. And that’s accurate whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!