Living with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family. In some cases, it can even be dangerous.
What if you can’t hear a fire alarm or somebody yelling your name? Car noises can indicate dangers ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. The first thing that somebody with untreated hearing loss should do is get a hearing test. For those who wear hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe, even when you’re not likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you go out
Bring somebody with good hearing out with you if possible. 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
Because you can depend on your hearing less, it’s important to decrease other distractions when driving. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or request that passengers stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
For individuals who have visual impairment, epilepsy, or other problems, a service dog seems obvious. But if you have auditory challenges, they can also be really 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. Make a plan
Know what you’ll do before an emergency strikes. Discuss it with other people. If you’re planning to move into the basement during a tornado, be sure 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. Adjust yourself to visual cues when driving
Your hearing loss has likely gotten worse over time. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t regularly get your hearing aids tuned. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. Be extra vigilant when pedestrians are around.
6. Let friends and family know about your limitations
It might be difficult to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life know about your hearing problems. They can warn you about something you might not hear so that you can get to safety. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might start making strange sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can indicate a serious issue. 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. Get your hearing loss treated
This is the most important thing you can do to remain safe. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, get your hearing examined annually. Don’t delay because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all facets of your life.