Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? There’s the type where you cram every single recreation you can into every single moment. These are the vacations that are remembered for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more exhausted than you left.
The other kind is all about unwinding. You might not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.
Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whichever way you choose, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, especially if you don’t know you have it. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going up and up.
The nice thing is that there are some tried and tested ways to minimize the effect hearing loss might have on your vacation. Scheduling a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The effect that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly diminished the more prepared you are before you go.
How can hearing loss impact your vacation
So how can your next vacation be negatively effected by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. By themselves, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to compound it can become a real issue. Some common illustrations include the following:
- You miss significant notices: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute chaos.
- You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Maybe your friend just told a hilarious joke that everybody loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
- You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted also. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
- Language barriers become even more challenging: Coping with a language barrier is already hard enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s really loud, makes it much more difficult.
Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be mitigated and decreased. So, taking care of your hearing requirements is the ideal way to keep your vacation on track.
How to prepare for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is clearly practical travel advice.
You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative effect on your vacation, here are a few things you can do:
- Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have troubles on vacation. It’s also a good plan to make certain your recommended maintenance is current!
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries went dead. Remember to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? Well, maybe, consult your airline. You might need to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
- Pre-planning is a good plan: When you have to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some challenges, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as possible.
Hearing aid travel tips
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Before you go out to the airport, there are some things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.
- Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, taking a shower, or swimming (or in a super loud environment), you should be using your devices.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to take out my hearing aids? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. That being said, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can generate a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
- Can I wear my hearing aids on the plane? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. Having said that, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements could be difficult to hear so be certain that you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This is a basic wire device (although you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are noisy and chaotic.
- Should I know my rights? Before you travel it’s never a bad idea to get familiar with your rights. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But essentially, it boils down to this: information has to be accessible to you. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you feel like you are missing some info and they should be able to help.
- How useful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is really helpful! Once you land, you can use this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you can use your phone like this.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. That’s why it’s important that you have a positive mindset and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.
That way you’ll still feel like your plans are on track even when the inevitable challenge occurs.
But you will be caught off guard less if you make good preparations. When something goes awry, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from getting out of control.
For individuals who have hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing evaluated and making sure you have the equipment and care you require. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.
Still have some questions or concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!