There are two types of vacations, right? One type is Packed with activities at all times. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more tired than you left.
Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These are the restful and relaxing kinds of vacations.
There’s no best to vacation. But neglected hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you take.
Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss
Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, especially if you’re not aware of it. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv louder and louder.
But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some proven strategies, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The more ready you are before you go, the easier it will be to reduce any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a couple of ways. And while some of them might seem a little trivial at first, they tend to add up! Some common examples include the following:
- You miss significant notices: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is cast into total chaos.
- Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s difficult enough to deal with a language barrier. But neglected hearing loss can make it even harder to understand voices (particularly in a noisy setting).
- You can miss important moments with family and friends: Everybody enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
- The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted also. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be mitigated and decreased. So, taking care of your hearing requirements is the ideal way to keep your vacation on track.
How to prepare for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. Not by any Means! But with a little extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively hassle-free. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice no matter how good your hearing is.
Here are several things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good idea to make certain your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help avoid issues from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good idea.
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries quit. Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You might need to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
- Pre-planning is a good idea: When you have to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some challenges, so don’t be too spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.
Hearing aid travel tips
Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Before you go out to the airport, there are some things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely know about.
- Should I be aware of my rights? Before you leave it’s never a bad idea to get familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have lots of special rights. But essentially, it comes down to this: information must be available to you. So if you think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
- Do I have to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can generate a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
- If I use my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, showering, or going for a swim (or in a super loud setting), you should be wearing your devices.
- Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is extremely useful, not surprisingly. After you land, you can utilize this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some strain off your ears.
- Can I use my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you hear that “all electronics must be off” spiel. Having said that, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements could be difficult to hear so make sure you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specially made to help people with hearing aids hear their environment better.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s essential to have a positive mindset and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.
That way, when something unexpected occurs (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
Of course, the flip side to that is that preparation can go a long way. When something goes awry, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from getting out of control.
Having a hearing examination and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the start of that preparation for people who have hearing loss. And that’s true whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!