Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family. It can also come with some dangers.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone calling your name? Car noises can indicate dangers ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. The first thing that someone with untreated hearing loss should do is get a hearing exam. For individuals with hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your family remain safe, even when you’re not likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out alone
Bring somebody with good hearing out with you if you can. If you need to go out alone, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s important to stay focused while driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS when you’re driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
If there are moments while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. Safety first!
3. Consider a service animal
For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other problems, a service animal seems obvious. But if you have auditory issues, they can also be very helpful. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.
Not only can they assist you with these issues, but they also make a terrific companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency happens, make a plan. Talk it over it with others. For instance, be sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act quickly to help you.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual clues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. Be extra vigilant when pedestrians are around.
6. Let family and friends know about your hearing trouble
It may be difficult to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life are aware of your hearing issues. You may need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you may have missed. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car may begin making peculiar sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can signal a serious issue. Your car could take significant damage and your safety might be at risk if these sounds aren’t dealt with. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Address your hearing loss
This is the most important thing you can do to remain safe. In order to know if you require a hearing aid, get your hearing tested annually. Don’t wait because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and surprisingly affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.