Traveling With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Enjoyable 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 type is Packed with activities the whole time. This type will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the fun will be remembered for years to come.

The other kind is all about relaxing. You might not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Maybe you spend a lot of time on the beach with some drinks. Or maybe you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. Whichever way you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, particularly if you’re not aware of it. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. The volume on all their devices just continues going up and up.

The nice thing is that there are a few proven ways to minimize the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. Scheduling a hearing exam is obviously the first step. The effect that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are before you go.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. By themselves, they may 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 important moments with family and friends: Perhaps your friend just told a hilarious joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted too. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very loud, makes it much harder.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.

A number of these negative outcomes can be prevented by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, managing your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.

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

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. That’s nowhere near the case! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively stress-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how good your hearing is.

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

  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries went dead. Always make certain you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? Well, maybe, consult your airline. Some kinds of batteries must be kept in your carry-on.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a smart idea to make certain your hearing aids are clean and working properly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent problems from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good plan.
  • Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more challenges).

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 a few things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should certainly know about.

  • Do I need to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. It’s generally a good plan to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices create.
  • Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? It’s a good idea! Generally, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you go. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have many special rights. But essentially, it boils down to this: information has to be available to you. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you feel like you are missing some information and they will most likely be able to help.
  • Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be difficult to hear so make sure you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is really useful! You can use your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You may be able to take some stress off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone like this.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device fitted throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help people who have hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you’re not in a really loud place, swimming, or showering.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s important that you have a good attitude and treat your vacation like you’re taking on the unexpected.

That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are on track even when the unavoidable obstacle happens.

But you will be caught off guard less if you make good preparations. With the correct preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.

For people who have hearing loss, this preparation often begins by having your hearing evaluated and making certain you have the hardware and care you need. 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? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!

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.

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