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

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? One kind is Packed with activities at all times. These are the vacations that are remembered for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more tired than you left.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. Whichever way you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, particularly if you’re not aware of it. 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 tv louder and louder.

The nice thing is that there are a few tried and tested ways to lessen the effect hearing loss might have on your vacation. The first step, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The effect that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are in advance.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be negatively impacted 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 compound it can become a real problem. Some common illustrations include the following:

  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.
  • Language barriers become even more challenging: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very loud, makes it much more difficult.
  • You can miss important moments with family and friends: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everyone enjoyed, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
  • The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.

A number of these negative situations can be prevented by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, managing your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.

How to get ready for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss

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

Here are some things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:

  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is no fun! Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. Some kinds of batteries need to be stored in your carry-on.
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help avoid problems from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good plan.
  • Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more challenges).

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Before you go out to the airport, there are some things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.

  • If I wear my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or swimming (or in an extremely noisy setting), you should be using your devices.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? 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 normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help individuals with hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • Should I be aware of my rights? 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 basically, it boils down to this: information must be available to you. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you think you are missing some information and they will most likely be able to help.
  • 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. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • How helpful is my smartphone? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is very useful! You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can utilize 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 use your phone in this way.
  • Do I have 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. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. 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 type X-ray devices generate.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential that you have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re embracing the unexpected.

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

But you will be caught off guard less if you make good preparations. With the right preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.

For those who have hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by getting your hearing assessed and making sure you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s true whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Still have some questions or concerns? 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.

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