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

There are two kinds of vacations, right? There’s the kind where you cram every single activity you can into every waking moment. This kind will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the fun will be recalled for years to come.

The other kind is all about relaxing. You may not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Maybe you spend the entire time on the beach with some cocktails. Or maybe you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your whole vacation. These are the restful and relaxing kinds of vacations.

There’s no best to vacation. But neglected hearing loss can put a damper on whichever kind of vacation you choose.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

There are a few distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no clue they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their television louder and louder.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some proven strategies, and that’s the good news. The first move, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready you are before you go, the easier it will be to minimize any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be negatively effected by hearing loss? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to add up it can become a real issue. Here are a few common examples:

  • You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Everybody enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
  • You miss significant notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute disarray.
  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is muted. After all, you could fail to hear the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
  • Language barriers become even more challenging: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s really loud, makes it much more difficult.

Some of these negative outcomes 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 take care of your hearing needs before you go.

If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on vacation if you have hearing loss. That’s not at all true! But it does mean that, when you’re dealing with hearing loss, a little bit of extra planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously good travel advice.

You can be sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are a number of things you can do:

  • 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 plan as much as you can.
  • Clean your hearing aids: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have troubles on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart plan.
  • Pack extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is no fun! Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, consult your airline. Some types of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

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

  • Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is very helpful, not shockingly. Once you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct type of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You may be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to use your phone in this way.
  • Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. Having said that, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You might also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are hard to hear.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than usual? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you’re not in a really loud setting, swimming, or showering.
  • Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? Before you travel it’s never a bad plan to get familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have lots of special rights. But essentially, it boils down to this: information must be available to you. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you think you’re missing some information and they should be able to help.
  • Do I need to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. It’s generally a good idea to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices produce.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on which airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will normally be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This is a simple 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 noisy and chaotic.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. That’s why it’s important to have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unexpected.

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

But you will be surprised less if you make good preparations. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a disaster.

For individuals with hearing loss, this preparation often begins by getting your hearing assessed and making certain you have the equipment and care you require. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.

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

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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.