Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? One kind is Packed with activities the whole time. These are the vacations that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more tired than you left.
The other kind is all about relaxing. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your whole vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.
There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whatever way you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.
Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss
There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no idea they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their television up and up and up.
The good news is that there are a few proven ways to reduce the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. The first move, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready you are before you go, the easier it will be to minimize any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can hearing loss effect your vacation
So how can your next vacation be adversely effected by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to compound it can become a real issue. Here are a few common instances:
- You can miss important moments with friends and family: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everyone enjoyed, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
- Language barriers are even more challenging: Coping with a language barrier is already hard enough. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to decipher voices (especially in a noisy situation).
- Important notices come in but you frequently miss them: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
- 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 spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and minimized. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the best 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. Not by any Means! But with a little extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively hassle-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is definitely practical travel advice.
You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are a number of things you can do:
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is the worst! Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You might be required to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
- Pre-planning is a good plan: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more obstacles).
- Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a smart idea to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning correctly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent problems from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your suggested maintenance is current!
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Before you head out to the airport, there are some things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.
- Will I be able to hear well in the airport? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will normally be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This is a basic wire device (although you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are loud and chaotic.
- Do I need to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. Never allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can create a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
- Is it ok to take a flight 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 plan to enable flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.
- Do I have some rights I should know about? It’s a good idea! Generally, it’s good to familiarize yourself with your rights before you travel. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you must have access to information. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you think you are missing some information and they should be able to help.
- Will my smartphone be useful? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is really helpful! Once you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right type of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some stress off your ears.
- Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than usual? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids anytime you’re not in a really loud place, swimming, or showering.
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 to have a good attitude and treat your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.
That way, when something unforeseen takes place (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
However, the other side to that is that preparation can go a long way. With the correct preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a disaster.
Having a hearing examination and making certain you have the correct equipment is usually the start of that preparation for people who have hearing loss. And that’s true whether you’re visiting 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? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam!