Living with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your loved ones. It can also come with some dangers.
What happens if a smoke detector is sounding or somebody is yelling out your name but you can’t hear them? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t hear those car noises that may be signaling an impending hazard.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to worry about. If you have neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you need to do. For individuals who wear hearing aids, we have some recommendations to help you and your family stay safe, even when you’re not likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Bring a friend with you when you leave the house
Bring somebody with good hearing out with you if you can. If that isn’t possible, ask people to face you when talking to you so that you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Stay focused when you drive
Because you can depend less on your hearing, it’s essential to minimize other distractions when driving. Don’t use your phone or GPS when you’re driving, just pull over if you need to reroute. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
Don’t feel ashamed if you have 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 those with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other conditions. But if you’re dealing with auditory challenges, they can also be very helpful. A service dog can be trained to alert you to hazards. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
Not only can they help with these issues, but they also make a terrific companion.
4. Have a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency strikes. Discuss it with other people. For instance, be certain your family is aware that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where to find if something were to go wrong.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. You may need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t regularly have your hearing aids calibrated. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your hearing trouble with friends and family
Nobody wants to admit that they have hearing impairment, but people close to you need to know. You may need to get to safety and those around you will be able to warn you about something you may have missed. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might begin making strange sounds that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These can indicate a serious issue. If neglected, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you in danger. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Have your hearing impairment treated
If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is essential. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, get your hearing examined annually. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.