For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. It can also come with some perils.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or someone calling your name? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t hear those car noises that could be signaling an impending threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to stress over. The first thing that a person with neglected hearing loss should do is get a hearing assessment. For those who use hearing aids, we have some recommendations to help you and your family stay safe, even when you aren’t likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
If possible, bring somebody with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If that’s not possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so that you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s important to remain focused while 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. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
For individuals who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service animal seems obvious. But they can also be extremely helpful to those who have auditory problems. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also excellent companions.
4. Make a plan
Know what you’ll do before an emergency strikes. Discuss it with others. If you plan to go into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual cues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so be aware of flashing lights. Be extra vigilant when pedestrians are around.
6. Let friends and family know about your limitations
No one wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but those close to you need to know. They can warn you about something you may not hear so that you can get to safety. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle
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 may point to a mechanical problem with your vehicle. If neglected, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you at risk. It’s a good idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Address your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is essential. Have your hearing assessed yearly to determine when your hearing loss is substantial enough to require an assistive device. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all facets of your life.