Older man behind the wheel of his car excited to drive since he solved his hearing loss.

Many older people have hearing loss, but does that mean it’s unsafe for them to drive? The response isn’t straightforward, as driving habits differ among individuals.

While hearing loss is a component to think about when driving a vehicle, a seasoned driver remains capable even if they have to lower the volume on the radio.

Whether hearing loss presents a risk while driving is an important consideration for individuals planning daily commutes or winter road trips. Is your hearing loss making you a hazardous driver?

Think beyond driving…

Early stage hearing loss most likely won’t negatively effect your driving, but if it’s neglected, driving will become increasingly unsafe.

There is a solid link between hearing health and brain health, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. The brain has to work extra hard struggling to hear, which causes it to have fewer resources for other day-to-day tasks. It has a detrimental effect on cognition and can play a role in the onset of dementia. Someone suffering from dementia certainly can’t drive.

If you have hearing loss, can you still drive?

You can still drive with hearing loss, but it should be noted that safe driving demands strong observational skills including auditory awareness. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss, the majority of them still drive as reported by the Center for Hearing Communication.

Tips for driving if you have hearing loss

You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and use these tips.

Stop procrastinating

Come in to see us for a hearing test and find out if hearing aids will help your situation. The question of whether you should be driving can be removed by using hearing aids.

When you drive, be more aware

You will still need to be observant about what’s going on around your vehicle even if you have hearing aids.

Keep the noise down inside your car

This will let you focus your listening on driving without distractions. Turn the radio off or down and ask your passengers to keep the chit-chat to a minimum.

Learn to look at your dashboard frequently

It’s the little things that will mount up when you drive with hearing loss. You might not be capable of hearing that clicking noise that your turn signal makes, for example. So regularly look at your dashboard because your eyes will need to compensate.

Keep your vehicle well maintained

Perhaps your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you are unable to hear it. Have your car serviced regularly so you can avoid this significant safety risk. That’s a smart plan for most individuals but a necessity if you are driving with hearing loss.

Watch the other cars closely

This is a no-brainer for everybody but if you have hearing loss it’s even more poignant. If you see other cars pulling off the road, you should do that also because you might have missed the sirens. Use the behavior of other drivers to get some visual clues about traffic patterns around you.

Can you drive with hearing loss? It’s really a personal decision. It is possible to be a safe driver even if your hearing is not what it once was because most likely your other senses will help you make the adjustment. If the idea makes you uneasy, though, then it’s time to consult us and find a treatment to improve your situation, like wearing hearing aids.

Come in and let us help you better your quality of life by looking at the hearing solutions that will be suited to your unique hearing situation.

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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.

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