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

There are two kinds of vacations, right? There’s the type where you cram every single activity you can into every waking second. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more tired than you left.

The other kind is all about unwinding. You might not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some sort of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These are the peaceful and relaxing kinds of vacations.

There’s no best to vacation. Whatever way you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no idea they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their television louder and louder.

But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be lessened with some tried and tested methods, 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 in advance.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? 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 illustrations include the following:

  • Meaningful experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everyone enjoyed, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: 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 active street sounds or singing birds.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
  • Language barriers are even more challenging: Managing a language barrier is already difficult enough. But neglected hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (particularly in a noisy setting).

A number of these negative situations can be avoided by simply using your hearing aids. Which means the best way to keep your vacation on track and free of stress is to manage your hearing needs before you go.

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 impossible. That’s nowhere near the case! 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 sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:

  • Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a smart plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent problems from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart plan.
  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries went dead. Always make certain you bring spares! So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? Well, maybe, consult your airline. You may need to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
  • Pre-planning is a smart plan: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as you can.

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 definitely some good things to understand before you head to the airport.

  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on which airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will usually be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This is a basic wire device (although you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are loud and chaotic.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you travel it’s never a bad plan to become familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But essentially, it boils down to this: information must be available to you. 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 help.
  • Will my smartphone be useful? Your smartphone is extremely helpful, not shockingly. You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone in this way.
  • If I use my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be used every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you’re not in an extremely loud setting, swimming, or showering.
  • Can I use my hearing aids on the plane? When they tell you 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 enable flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be hard to hear so be certain that you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
  • Do I need to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. It’s usually a good plan to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. Never 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.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. That’s why it’s essential that you have a good attitude and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unexpected.

That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are on track even when the unavoidable obstacle arises.

Of course, the other side to that is that preparation can make a difference. With the right preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.

For people who have hearing loss, this preparation frequently starts by getting your hearing evaluated and making certain you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s accurate whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or hanging out on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

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

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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.