Vacationing With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Fun Trip!

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? One kind is full of activities the whole time. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more worn out than you left.

The other kind is all about relaxing. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you’re getting pampered at some resort for your entire vacation. These types of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.

Everyone has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you take.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, especially if you’re not aware of it. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no idea they have it. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going higher and higher.

The good news is that there are a few tried and tested ways to minimize the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing test is obviously the first step. The effect that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are in advance.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? Well, there are a couple of ways. Individually, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to compound it can become a real issue. Here are some common examples:

  • You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Everyone enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a result, your whole vacation schedule is cast into absolute disarray.
  • You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Language barriers become even more tricky: It’s difficult enough to contend with a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to decipher voices (particularly in a noisy setting).

A number of these negative outcomes can be averted by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, managing your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation on track.

If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. That’s nowhere near true! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of added planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice regardless of how strong your hearing is.

You can be sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative effect on your vacation, here are a number of things you can do:

  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you leave on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a smart plan.
  • Pre-planning is a good idea: When you have to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can present some challenges, so don’t be overly spontaneous and plan as much as possible.
  • Pack extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is no fun! Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. Some types of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! 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 know about.

  • Should I know my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you travel. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you must have access to information. So if you think you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is very helpful, not shockingly. You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some stress off your ears.
  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than usual? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be using your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in an extremely loud place, swimming, or showering.
  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device fitted throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help individuals who have hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. Never allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor style X-ray devices produce.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids on the plane? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you hear that “all electronics must be off” announcement. Having said that, you may want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s essential that you have a positive attitude and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unexpected.

That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!

But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. When something goes amiss, with the right preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.

Getting a hearing exam and making sure you have the right equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for individuals who have hearing loss. And that’s accurate whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or taking it easy on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Still have some questions or concerns? Call us today!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.