Have a Safe And Enjoyable Vacation Even if You’re Dealing With Hearing Loss

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

There are two types of vacations, right? There’s the type where you cram every single activity you can into every waking moment. This kind will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the fun will be recalled for many years to come.

Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you spend your whole vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the whole time. These are the restful and relaxing kinds of vacations.

Everyone has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you choose.

Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss

There are some distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, especially if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. On all their devices, the volume just continues going up and up.

But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. 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 reduce 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. And while some of them might seem a little insignificant at first, they have a tendency to add up! Here are a few common instances:

  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
  • Meaningful moments with friends and relatives can be missed: Everybody loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: It’s hard enough to contend with a language barrier. But neglected hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (particularly in a noisy situation).
  • Important notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. And as a consequence, your whole vacation schedule is cast into total chaos.

A number of these negative outcomes can be averted by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, taking care of your hearing requirements is the best way to keep your vacation on track.

How to prepare for your vacation when you have hearing loss

All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s nowhere near the case! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how strong your hearing is.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:

  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries died. Always make certain you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? Well, maybe, consult your airline. You might be required to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Pre-planning is a good idea: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some challenges, so don’t be too spontaneous and prepare as much as possible.
  • Clean your hearing aids: Before you head out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help avoid problems from happening while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good idea.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to know before you go to the airport.

  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That will depend, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This is a basic wire device (though 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.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to take out my hearing aids? You won’t be required to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. That being said, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. Don’t ever let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor style X-ray devices produce.
  • Do I have some rights I should know about? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s smart to become familiar with your rights before you go. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But essentially, it amounts to this: information has to be accessible to you. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you suspect you’re missing some info and they should be able to help.
  • If I use my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, taking a shower, or going for a swim (or in a really noisy environment), you should be using your devices.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely 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), get 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 may take some stress off your ears.
  • 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 need to turn your hearing aids off. Having said that, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s essential that you have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unexpected.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable obstacle happens.

However, the other side to that is that preparation can go a long way. With the right preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.

Having a hearing exam and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for individuals with hearing loss. 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.

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? 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.