Traveling With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Fun Trip!

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? One type is full of activities the whole time. These are the vacations that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you go back to work more tired than you left.

The other kind is all about relaxing. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Maybe you spend the entire time on the beach with some drinks. Or maybe you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These types of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whatever way you prefer, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.

Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, particularly if you don’t know you have it. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. The volume on all their devices just keeps going higher and higher.

The good news is that there are a few proven ways to lessen the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing test is definitely the first step. The effect that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly diminished the more prepared you are ahead of time.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? Well, there are a couple of ways. And while some of them might seem a bit trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common illustrations include the following:

  • You can miss significant moments with friends and family: Perhaps your friend just told a hilarious joke that everybody enjoyed, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
  • Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s hard enough to deal with a language barrier. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very loud, makes it much harder.
  • Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is cast into total disarray.
  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted as well. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.

Some of these negative outcomes can be averted by simply using your hearing aids. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track and stress free is to manage your hearing needs before you go.

How to get ready for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip 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 hassle-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is definitely practical travel advice.

You can be sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:

  • Pre-planning is a smart idea: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more obstacles).
  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries died. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, consult your airline. You might need to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you go out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help avoid issues from developing while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your recommended maintenance is up to date!

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or possibly it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to recognize before you head to the airport.

  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? You won’t be required to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. Don’t ever let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can generate a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you hear that “all electronics must be off” announcement. Having said that, you might want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You might also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are hard to hear.
  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help people with hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than usual? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, taking a shower, or going for a swim (or in a really loud setting), you should be using your devices.
  • Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? Before you leave it’s not a bad idea to get familiar with your rights. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you have to have access to information. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you feel like you’re missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.
  • How helpful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is really helpful, not surprisingly. You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some strain off your ears.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a positive attitude.

That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!

Of course, the other side to that is that preparation can make a difference. When something goes wrong, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.

For people who have hearing loss, this preparation often starts by having your hearing evaluated and making certain you have the hardware and care you require. And that’s the case whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Still have some questions or concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

Questions? Talk To Us.