Living with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family. In some cases, it can even be unsafe.
What happens if a fire alarm is going off or someone is shouting out your name but you’re unable to hear them? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that may be signaling an approaching threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should worry about. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you should do. Here are several tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re wearing their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
Bring somebody with good hearing out with you if you can. If you have to go out alone, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you’re driving
Because you can rely less on your hearing, it’s important to decrease other distractions behind the wheel. Pull over if you need to plot a route and avoid your phone and GPS. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need 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 animal
You think of service dogs as helpful for people with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you have auditory issues, they can also be very helpful. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also wonderful companions.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency takes place, make a plan. Speak with others in your life about it. For instance, make sure your family knows that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, choose a designated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual clues
Your hearing loss has most likely worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself relying more on your eyes. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. When children or pedestrians are around, be extra attentive.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
No one wants to admit that they have hearing loss, but those in your life need to be aware of it. They can warn you about something you might not hear so that you can go to safety. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might start making strange noises that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can signal a serious problem. If disregarded, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you at risk. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Get your hearing impairment treated
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is vital. Have your hearing tested yearly to identify when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all facets of your life.