For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. It can also come with some perils.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or somebody yelling your name? Car noises can warn you about hazards ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. If you are dealing with untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you should do. Here are a few recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Bring a friend with you when you go out
If possible, bring someone with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If you have to go out alone, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s essential to remain focused while 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. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
If there are circumstances 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 those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other conditions. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be really helpful. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. They can inform you when someone is at your door.
They can assist you with your hearing issues and they are also great companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency takes place, make a plan. Discuss it with others. As an example, be sure your family knows that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. In case of a fire, plan a designated spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act rapidly to assist you.
5. Pay extra attention to visual cues when driving
Your hearing loss has likely gotten worse over time. You might need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t routinely get your hearing aids calibrated. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are around, be extra alert.
6. Share your limitations with family and friends
Nobody wants to admit that they have hearing impairment, but those in your life need to be aware of it. You may need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you may have missed. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might begin making unusual sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can indicate a serious problem. If dismissed, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you in danger. It’s a good idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is crucial. In order to know if you need to get a hearing aid, get your hearing screened yearly. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all facets of your life.