Coping with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family members. Sometimes, it can even be unsafe.
What if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone calling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that may be signaling an approaching hazard.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. The first thing that a person with untreated hearing loss should do is get a hearing assessment. For those with 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 go out
Bring somebody with healthy hearing out with you if you can. If you need to go out by yourself, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
It’s essential to remain focused while driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and stay away from your phone and GPS. Before you drive, if you are concerned that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you have 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. Consider a service animal
You think of service animals as helpful for those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be very helpful to individuals with auditory challenges. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. They can inform you when someone is at your door.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also great companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency takes place, make a plan. Discuss it with other people. As an example, be certain your family knows that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. 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. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues
Your hearing loss has probably gotten worse over time. You may need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t regularly have 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. Let family and friends know about your limitations
It may be hard to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life know about your hearing loss. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you might have missed. If they don’t know that you’re unable to hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
Your car might start making unusual noises that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can signal a serious issue. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be at risk if these sounds aren’t dealt with. 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. Treat your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is essential. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing screened yearly. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and surprisingly affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.