Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family members. In some cases, it can even be unsafe.
What happens if a smoke detector is going off or someone is yelling out your name but you can’t hear them? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t hear those car sounds that may be signaling an impending threat.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. If you have neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you need to do. For those who use hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your family stay safe, even when you aren’t likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
Bring somebody with healthy hearing out with you if possible. If you have to go out alone, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s essential to stay focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. If you suspect you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or request that passengers stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
For individuals who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service animal seems obvious. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be really helpful. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. They can inform you when somebody is at your door.
Not only can they help with these issues, but they also make a wonderful companion.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency takes place, prepare a plan. Talk to others in your life about it. As an example, make sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, plan a specified 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 likely worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. You may not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are nearby, be extra vigilant.
6. Let friends and family know about your limitations
It might be hard to admit, but it’s important that people in your life are aware of your hearing problems. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you might have missed. If they’re not aware that you can’t hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car may begin making strange sounds that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These can signal a serious issue. Your car could take serious damage and your safety might be at risk if these sounds aren’t dealt with. It’s a smart idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
This is the most imperative thing you can do to remain safe. Have your hearing checked annually to determine when your hearing loss is significant enough to require an assistive device. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and surprisingly affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all facets of your life.