For you and the people in your life, living with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. It can also come with some dangers.
What happens if a smoke detector is going off or somebody is shouting out your name but you can’t hear them? Car noises can signal hazards ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. If you are dealing with neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you need to do. Here are several tips to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out alone
If possible, take somebody with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If that’s not possible, ask people to face you when talking to you so you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s essential to stay focused while driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and stay away from your GPS and phone. Before you drive, if you are concerned that you may have a problem with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
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. Safety first!
3. Think about getting a service animal
For people who have visual impairment, epilepsy, or other issues, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be extremely helpful to individuals with auditory problems. A service dog can be trained to alert you to hazards. They can let you know when somebody is at your door.
Not only can they assist you with these issues, but they also make a great companion.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency occurs, make a plan. Speak with people in your life about it. As an example, make sure your family knows that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, plan a specified location that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act quickly to help you.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues
Your hearing loss has most likely worsened over time. You may need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely have your hearing aids calibrated. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. Be extra vigilant when pedestrians are nearby.
6. Share your limitations with friends and family
It may be tough to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life are aware of your hearing issues. They can warn you about something you may not hear so that you can get to safety. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
As somebody living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These noises may suggest a mechanical problem with your vehicle. If ignored, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you at risk. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Treat your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is vital. Get your hearing tested annually to determine when your hearing loss is significant enough to require an assistive device. Don’t wait because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all aspects of your life.