Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your loved ones. It can also come with some hazards.
What if you can’t hear a smoke detector or somebody yelling your name? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that may be signaling an impending hazard.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to stress over. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you should do. Here are a few recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re wearing their hearing aid.
1. Bring a friend with you when you go out
Bring somebody with healthy hearing out with you if you can. If that isn’t possible, ask people to face you when speaking to you so they are easier to hear.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
Because you can rely on your hearing less, it’s important to decrease other distractions behind the wheel. Pull over if you need to plot a route and avoid your GPS and phone. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
You think of service animals as helpful for people with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be extremely helpful to those with auditory challenges. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. They can inform you when somebody is at your door.
They can help you with your hearing issues and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency occurs, prepare a plan. Speak with 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, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act quickly to help you.
5. Adjust yourself to visual clues when driving
Your hearing loss has likely gotten worse over time. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t regularly get your hearing aids tuned. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are nearby.
6. Share your limitations with family and friends
It might be difficult to admit, but it’s important that people in your life are aware of your hearing problems. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you might have missed. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
Your car may begin making unusual sounds that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These can signal a serious problem. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be in danger if these sounds aren’t dealt with. It’s a smart idea to ask a trusted 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 impairment treated
This is the most imperative thing you can do to stay safe. In order to know if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing tested 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 remain safer in all facets of your life.