Living with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family. In some cases, it can even be hazardous.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone yelling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear those car sounds that could be signaling an impending threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. If you have neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you need to do. For those with hearing aids, we have a few recommendations to help you and your loved ones remain safe, even when you’re not likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
If you can, bring someone with you who is not struggling to hear. If that isn’t possible, ask people to face you when talking to you so you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Stay focused when you drive
Because you can depend on your hearing less, it’s important to decrease other distractions when driving. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and stay away from your GPS and phone. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
If there are times while you’re driving that you may 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 dog
For people who have visual impairment, epilepsy, or other problems, a service animal seems obvious. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be very helpful. A service dog can be trained to warn you of hazards. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
Not only can they assist you with these issues, but they also make a great companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency comes about, make a plan. Talk to others in your life about it. For instance, be sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, plan a designated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to go wrong.
5. Pay extra attention to visual clues when driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you may find yourself relying more on your eyes. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. Be extra vigilant when pedestrians are around.
6. Let family and friends know about your hearing trouble
It may be difficult to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life know about your hearing issues. You might need to get to safety and those around you will be able to warn you about something you might have missed. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might begin making strange noises that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These sounds may suggest a mechanical problem with your vehicle. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be in danger if these sounds aren’t addressed. It’s a smart idea to ask a trustworthy 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
This is the most imperative thing you can do to remain safe. In order to know if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing screened annually. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all aspects of your life.