Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your loved ones. It can also come with some dangers.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or somebody yelling your name? Car noises can indicate hazards ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should worry about. If you are dealing with untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you should do. Here are several recommendations to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they are wearing their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out alone
Bring someone with good hearing out with you if you can. If that’s not possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so that they are easier to hear.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
Because you can depend less on your hearing, it’s essential to decrease other distractions when driving. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. Before you drive, if you are worried that you may have a problem with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
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
You think of service dogs as helpful for individuals with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be really helpful. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also great companions.
4. Have a plan
Know what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Discuss it with others. If you plan 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, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act rapidly to help you.
5. Pay extra attention to visual cues when driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely have your hearing aids tuned. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are around, stay extra alert.
6. Let family and friends know about your hearing trouble
No one wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but people close to you need to know. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you might have missed. If they don’t know that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As somebody living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These sounds could suggest a mechanical issue with your vehicle. Your car could take serious damage and your safety might be at risk if these noises aren’t dealt with. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Manage your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is essential. Have your hearing assessed annually to identify when your hearing loss is significant enough to require an assistive device. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.