For you and the people in your life, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. It can also come with some perils.
What happens if a smoke detector is going off or somebody is yelling out your name but you can’t hear them? Car sounds can warn you about dangers ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.
Don’t stress yourself out over 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 individuals with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they’re wearing their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out alone
If possible, bring someone with you who is not struggling to hear. If that isn’t possible, ask people to face you when talking to you so they are easier to hear.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s important to stay focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. Before you drive, if you are concerned that you may have a problem with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
If there are moments while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no shame. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service animal
You think of service animals as helpful for people with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other conditions. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be very helpful. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. They can inform you when somebody is at your door.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency comes about, make a plan. Talk it over it with other people. If you’re planning to move into the basement during a tornado, make sure your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
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 clues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. You may not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are nearby.
6. Share your limitations with family and friends
Nobody wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but people close to you need to know. They can alert you to something you may not hear so that you can get to safety. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might start making unusual sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These sounds could point to a mechanical issue with your vehicle. If neglected, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you in danger. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Have your hearing impairment treated
If you want to be safe, having your hearing loss treated is essential. Get your hearing tested annually to identify when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all aspects of your life.