Older man behind the wheel of his car excited to drive since he solved his hearing loss.

Hearing loss is a widespread challenge for older people, but does it warrant quitting driving? The response isn’t clear-cut, as driving habits vary among individuals.

Even if some adjustments need to be made to the volume of the radio, hearing loss shouldn’t mean a seasoned driver needs to quit driving.

Whether hearing loss presents a risk while driving is a critical consideration for individuals planning daily commutes or winter road trips. Is your hearing loss making you a dangerous driver?

Think beyond driving…

Early stage hearing loss likely won’t negatively impact your driving, but if it goes untreated, driving will become progressively more unsafe.

Johns Hopkins Medicine has found there is a distinct relationship between hearing and brain health. Struggling to hear forces the brain to use valuable resources just to understand what people are saying. It has a negative effect on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. Driving is definitely out of the question for someone with dementia.

Should you drive with hearing loss?

You can still drive with hearing loss, but it should be noted that safe driving demands strong observational skills including auditory awareness. The Center for Hearing and Communication estimates around 48 million Americans have significant hearing loss, and a good number of them still drive.

Driving with hearing loss

With some adjustments, you can still remain safe on the road. Here are some tips.

Stop procrastinating

Visit us, have your hearing tested, and think about how hearing aids can help things for you. The question of whether you should be driving can be removed by using hearing aids.

When you drive, be more aware

You will still need to be aware of what’s happening around your vehicle even if you have hearing aids.

Keep the noise down inside your car

This will allow you to focus your listening on driving without being distracted. Ask your passengers to chat more quietly and keep the radio down or off.

Keep an eye on your dash lights

It’s the little things that will mount up when you drive with hearing loss. You might not be capable of hearing that clicking sound that your turn signal makes, for instance. So regularly check your dashboard because your eyes will have to compensate.

Make maintenance a priority

Maybe your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you are unable to hear it. That is a major safety hazard, so make a point of getting your car serviced regularly. For people with hearing loss, this is crucial, even more so than it would be for somebody who doesn’t have hearing loss.

Pay attention to other vehicles around you

Of course, you would do that anyway, but you want to watch for signs you might be missing something. If you see other cars pulling off the road, you should do that also because you may have missed the sirens. Use the actions of other drivers to get some visual hints about traffic patterns around you.

Can you drive with hearing loss? That’s up to you. Your other senses will usually adjust to help keep you safe, which means it is feasible to drive safely even if your hearing has started to go. If the thought of this makes you anxious, though, then it’s time to consult us and find a solution to improve your situation, like using hearing aids.

Give us a call right away to schedule your hearing exam and look into hearing aid solutions for your distinctive lifestyle.

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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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