For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be unsafe.
What happens if a smoke detector is going off or somebody is shouting out your name but you’re unable to hear them? Car sounds can indicate hazards ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. The first thing that a person with neglected hearing loss should do is get a hearing test. Here are some tips to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
Bring someone with good hearing out with you if possible. If you have to go out by yourself, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s essential to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and avoid your phone and GPS. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
Don’t feel ashamed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service animal
For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be really helpful to people who have auditory problems. A service dog can be trained to alert you to hazards. When someone is at your door they can inform you.
Not only can they help with these challenges, but they also make a great companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency occurs, make a plan. Talk to people in your life about it. If you’re planning to move into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues when driving
Your hearing loss has probably gotten worse over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you might find yourself depending more on your eyes. You may not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
It may be hard to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life are aware of your hearing loss. They can warn you about something you might not hear so that you can go to safety. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle
Your car may begin making strange noises that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These can signal a serious problem. If disregarded, 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 loss treated
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is crucial. Have your hearing tested yearly to determine when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t wait because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.