Vacationing With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Enjoyable Trip!

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

There are a couple of types of vacations, right? One type is Packed with activities the whole time. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more tired than you left.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some sort of resort, getting spoiled the whole time. These are the peaceful and relaxing kinds of vacations.

There’s no best to vacation. Whichever method you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

There are a few distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv up and up and up.

But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be lessened with some proven methods, and that’s the good news. The first step, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The impact that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are ahead of time.

How can hearing loss impact your vacation

So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. And while some of them might seem a bit insignificant at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common examples include the following:

  • Language barriers become even more difficult: Coping with a language barrier is already hard enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very loud, makes it much more difficult.
  • Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.
  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted too. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Special moments with friends and family can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a hilarious joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and decreased. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track and free of stress is to manage your hearing needs before you start.

If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready 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 it does mean that, when you’re dealing with hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice no matter how good your hearing is.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative effect on your vacation, here are a few things you can do:

  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you leave on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have troubles on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good plan.
  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries quit. Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, check with your airline. Some types of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.
  • Pre-planning is a smart plan: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more obstacles).

Hearing aid travel tips

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

  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to take out my hearing aids? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. Never 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 create.
  • Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? Before you travel it’s not a bad plan to become familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you must have access to information. So if you think you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer a solution.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. But it’s a good plan to activate flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be hard to hear so be certain that you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids anytime you aren’t in a really noisy place, swimming, or showering.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That will depend, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device installed throughout many areas. This is a simple 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.
  • How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is very useful, not surprisingly. Once you land, you can use this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct kind of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You may be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to use your phone like this.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential to have a positive mindset and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are on track even when the inevitable obstacle arises.

Of course, the other side to that is that preparation can make a difference. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.

Having a hearing aid discovery test and making sure you have the right equipment is usually the start of that preparation for individuals with hearing loss. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.

Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Call us today!

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.