Living with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family. Sometimes, it can even be dangerous.
What happens if a fire alarm is going off or somebody is yelling out your name but you can’t 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 stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you need to do. For people who wear hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your loved ones remain safe, even when you’re not likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Bring a friend with you when you go out
If possible, bring somebody with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If you have to go out by yourself, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
It’s essential 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 reroute. Before you drive, if you are concerned that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
If there are circumstances while you’re driving that you may 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. Think about getting a service animal
You think of service dogs as helpful for individuals with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be extremely helpful to those with auditory problems. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
They can assist you with your hearing issues and they are also wonderful companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency takes place, prepare a plan. Talk it over it with other people. For instance, be sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. In case of a fire, choose a delegated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act quickly to help you.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues while driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you might find yourself relying more on your eyes. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are around, stay extra vigilant.
6. Share your limitations with family and friends
It may be hard to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life know about your hearing issues. They can warn you about something you might not hear so that you can go to safety. If they don’t know that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
As a person living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These can indicate a serious problem. If dismissed, 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 a general once-over.
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 examined annually. Don’t wait because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all facets of your life.