For you and the people you love, living with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. It can also come with some perils.
What happens if a fire alarm is going off or somebody is shouting out your name but you can’t hear them? Car noises can indicate dangers ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. If you are dealing with neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you should do. For those who use hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your family remain safe, even when you aren’t likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
Bring somebody with good hearing out with you if you can. If you have to go out by yourself, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
Because you can rely on your hearing less, it’s essential to reduce other distractions behind the wheel. Pull over if you need to plot a route and stay away from your GPS and phone. Before you drive, if you are worried that you may have a problem with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
If there are moments while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no shame. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for those with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other conditions. But if you have auditory problems, they can also be really helpful. A service dog can be trained to warn you of hazards. They can let you know when someone is at your door.
They can assist you with your hearing problems and they are also great companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency occurs, make a plan. Discuss it with other people. If you’re planning to go into the basement during a tornado, make sure your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual clues
Your hearing loss has most likely gotten worse over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
No one wants to disclose that they have hearing impairment, but those close to you need to be aware of it. You might need to get to safety and those 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. Keep your car well-maintained
As somebody living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These can signal a serious problem. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be in danger if these noises aren’t addressed. It’s a good 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 loss treated
This is the most imperative thing you can do to stay safe. In order to identify if you need to get a hearing aid, have your hearing tested annually. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all aspects of your life.