Living with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family. It can also come with some perils.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or someone yelling your name? Car sounds can indicate hazards ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you should do. For individuals who wear hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your family remain safe, even when you aren’t likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
Bring someone with healthy hearing out with you if you can. If that’s not possible, ask people to face you when speaking to you so that you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Stay focused when you drive
Because you can rely on your hearing less, it’s important to minimize other distractions when driving. Pull over if you need to plot a route and stay away from your phone and GPS. Before driving, if you are concerned that you might have a problem with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
Don’t feel ashamed if you have to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service dog
You think of service animals as helpful for those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other conditions. But if you have auditory challenges, they can also be very helpful. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
Not only can they assist you with these challenges, but they also make a great companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency happens, make a plan. Talk to others in your life about it. For example, be sure your family is aware 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 rapidly to assist you.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual clues
Your hearing loss has probably worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you might find yourself depending more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so be aware of flashing lights. Be extra vigilant when pedestrians are around.
6. Let family and friends know about your limitations
It might be difficult to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life are aware of your hearing issues. You may need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you may have missed. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car may begin making peculiar sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can indicate a serious problem. If neglected, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you at risk. It’s a smart idea to ask a trustworthy mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Have your hearing impairment treated
This is the most imperative thing you can do to stay safe. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, get your hearing tested annually. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all facets of your life.