For you and the people in your life, coping with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. It can also come with some hazards.
What happens if a fire alarm is going off or somebody is yelling out your name but you’re unable to hear them? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that may be signaling an approaching threat.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. If you have neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you need to do. Here are a few tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out alone
If possible, take someone with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If you have to go out by yourself, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
Because you can depend less on your hearing, it’s important 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. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
If there are circumstances while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service dog
For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service animal seems obvious. But they can also be very helpful to those who have auditory issues. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.
Not only can they help with these challenges, but they also make a terrific companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency takes place, make a plan. Discuss it with others. As an example, be sure your family knows that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. In case of a fire, plan a designated spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act quickly to assist you.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual cues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. Be extra vigilant when pedestrians are nearby.
6. Let family and friends know about your limitations
It may be tough to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life know about your hearing loss. You may need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you might have missed. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As a person living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These sounds may indicate a mechanical problem with your vehicle. Your car could take serious damage and your safety could be in danger if these sounds aren’t addressed. It’s a smart idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Manage your hearing loss
If you want to be safe, having your hearing loss treated is vital. In order to know if you require a hearing aid, get your hearing screened yearly. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Hearing aids today are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.