Have a Safe And Fun Vacation Even if You Have Hearing Loss

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? One kind is Packed with activities the whole time. This type 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 relaxing. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you spend the entire time on the beach with some cocktails. Or maybe you spend your whole vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the whole time. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. Whichever way you choose, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

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 know you have hearing loss. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually sneaks 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 minimized with some proven strategies, and that’s the good news. Making an appointment for a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are before you go.

How can hearing loss impact your vacation

So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. By themselves, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real issue. Some common illustrations include the following:

  • Language barriers become even more difficult: Managing a language barrier is already difficult enough. But untreated hearing loss can make it even harder to understand voices (particularly in a noisy situation).
  • You miss significant notices: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into total chaos.
  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted as well. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
  • You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Everyone loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be lessened and decreased. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.

How to prepare for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is clearly good travel advice.

Here are some things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:

  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is no fun! Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You might be required to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you go out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help avoid issues from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your recommended maintenance is current!
  • Do some pre-planning: When you need to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be overly spontaneous and prepare as much as possible.

Hearing aid travel tips

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many people have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to recognize before you head to the airport.

  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or swimming (or in a super loud environment), you should be wearing your devices.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That will depend, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specially made to help individuals who have hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • 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, individuals with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you have to have access to information. So if you think you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
  • Can I use my hearing aids on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. That said, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is very useful! You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right kind of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You might be able to take some strain off your ears if you can utilize your phone like this.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to take out my hearing aids? You won’t be required to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. It’s usually a good idea to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. Don’t ever allow your hearing aids to 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 generate.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s important that you have a good mindset and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.

That way, when something unexpected happens (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!

However, the flip side to that is that preparation can go a long way. With the correct preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a disaster.

Getting a hearing examination and making certain you have the right equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for people with hearing loss. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.

Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.