For you and the people in your life, living with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. It can also come with some perils.
What happens if a smoke detector is going off or someone is yelling out your name but you can’t hear them? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that could be signaling an impending hazard.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. The first thing that a person with neglected hearing loss should do is get a hearing test. Here are some tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out alone
Bring someone with good hearing out with you if possible. If you have to go out by yourself, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you’re driving
Because you can rely less on your hearing, it’s essential to minimize other distractions behind the wheel. Don’t use your phone or GPS when you’re driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. Before driving, if you are concerned that you might have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
If there are times while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no shame. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
You think of service animals as helpful for people with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be very helpful. A service dog can be trained to alert you to hazards. When someone is at your door they can inform you.
They can assist you with your hearing problems and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Determine what you’ll do before an emergency strikes. Speak with others in your life about it. As an example, make sure your family knows that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. In case of a fire, choose a specified spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual cues
Your hearing loss has probably gotten worse over time. You may need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely get your hearing aids calibrated. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. When children or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra attentive.
6. Share your hearing trouble with family and friends
It may be tough to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life know about your hearing issues. You may need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you might have missed. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
As somebody living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These can indicate a serious problem. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be at risk if these sounds aren’t dealt with. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Manage your hearing loss
If you want to be safe, having your hearing loss treated is vital. Have your hearing checked annually to determine when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.