For you and the people in your life, living with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be unsafe.
What if you can’t hear a smoke detector or someone calling your name? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that could be signaling an impending threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to worry about. The first thing that a person with untreated hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing test. For people who wear hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your family stay safe, even when you’re not likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
Bring somebody with healthy hearing out with you if you can. If you need to go out by yourself, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
It’s important to stay focused while driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and stay away from your GPS and phone. If you suspect you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you have to turn off the radio or request that passengers 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 individuals with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other conditions. But if you’re dealing with auditory problems, they can also be really helpful. A service dog can be trained to warn you of danger. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
They can assist you with your hearing issues and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Determine what you’ll do before an emergency strikes. Talk to people in your life about it. As an example, be sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. In case of a fire, plan a specified location that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to go wrong.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues
Your hearing loss has likely worsened over time. You might need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t routinely get your hearing aids tuned. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your hearing trouble with friends and family
No one wants to disclose that they have hearing impairment, but people in your life need to be aware of it. They can alert you to something you might not hear so that you can get to safety. If they don’t know that you’re unable to hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As someone living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These noises could suggest a mechanical problem with your vehicle. If neglected, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you in danger. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
This is the most critical thing you can do to stay safe. In order to identify if you need to get a hearing aid, get your hearing screened annually. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids today are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all facets of your life.