Coping with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family members. It can also come with some dangers.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone yelling your name? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that could be signaling an impending hazard.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you should do. Here are a few recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.
1. Bring a friend with you when you go out
Bring someone with good hearing out with you if you can. If that isn’t possible, ask people to face you when talking to you so you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Stay focused when you’re driving
It’s essential to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely 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 reroute. Before driving, if you are concerned that you may have a problem with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
If there are times 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. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service animal seems obvious. But if you have auditory issues, they can also be really helpful. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
Not only can they assist you with these issues, but they also make a wonderful companion.
4. Make a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Speak with people in your life about it. For instance, make sure your family knows that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. Pay extra attention to visual cues while driving
Your hearing loss has most likely gotten worse over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you might find yourself depending more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. Be extra attentive when pedestrians are nearby.
6. Share your limitations with friends and family
It might be hard to admit, but it’s important that people in your life are aware of your hearing issues. They can warn you about something you might not hear so that you can get to safety. If they don’t know that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As a person living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These noises could suggest a mechanical problem with your vehicle. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may 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 an overall once-over.
8. Treat your hearing loss
If you want to be safe, getting your hearing loss treated is essential. In order to know if you need to get a hearing aid, have your hearing screened annually. Don’t delay because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all aspects of your life.