Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you jam every single activity you can into every waking moment. These are the trips that are remembered for years later and are packed with adventure, and you go back to work more exhausted than you left.
Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or possibly you spend your entire vacation at some sort of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These kinds of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.
Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you take.
Hearing loss can spoil a vacation
There are some distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no clue they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv louder and louder.
The nice thing is that there are some tried and tested ways to minimize the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. The first move, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more prepared 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 hearing loss effect your vacation
So how can your next vacation be negatively impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to add up it can become a real problem. Here are some common instances:
- You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted also. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s difficult enough to contend with a language barrier. But neglected hearing loss can make it even harder to understand voices (especially in a noisy setting).
- You can miss important moments with family and friends: Everybody loved the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
- You miss significant notices: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. This can cast your entire vacation timing into chaos.
Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be lessened and decreased. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
If you have hearing loss, how can you prepare for your vacation?
That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on vacation if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively stress-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously practical travel advice.
Here are some things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:
- Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you head out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart idea.
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries quit. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some types of batteries need to be stored in your carry-on.
- Pre-planning is a good idea: It’s okay to be spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more difficulties).
Hearing aid travel tips
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Before you head out to the airport, there are some things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely know about.
- If I use my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, taking a shower, or swimming (or in an extremely loud environment), you should be wearing your devices.
- How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is very helpful, not surprisingly. You can use your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct kind of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on which airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This is a simple wire device (though you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are loud and chaotic.
- Do I have to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You won’t need to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. That being said, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. Don’t ever allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
- Should I be aware of my rights? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s good to become familiar with your rights before you travel. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have lots of special rights. Basically, you have to have access to information. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer a solution.
- Can I use my hearing aids on the plane? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You may also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are hard to hear.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. Not everything is going to go right all the time. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive attitude.
That way, when something unforeseen happens (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!
But you will be surprised less if you make good preparations. With the correct preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.
Getting a hearing exam and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for people with hearing loss. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.
Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam!