For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. It can also come with some hazards.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or somebody yelling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear those car sounds that could be signaling an impending hazard.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. The first thing that a person with untreated hearing loss should do is get a hearing exam. For individuals with hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe, even when you aren’t likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you go out
If you can, take somebody with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If you have to go out alone, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
It’s essential to stay focused while driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and stay away from your phone and GPS. Before you drive, if you are concerned that you might have a problem with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
Don’t feel ashamed if you have to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Consider a service animal
You think of service animals as helpful for individuals with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you’re dealing with auditory problems, they can also be really helpful. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. They can let you know when somebody is at your door.
Not only can they help with these challenges, but they also make a terrific companion.
4. Make a plan
Determine what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Discuss it with others. For instance, be sure your family knows that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, plan a specified location that you’ll be outside the house.
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 probably worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you might find yourself relying more on your eyes. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are nearby, be extra vigilant.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
Nobody wants to admit that they have hearing loss, but those close to you need to know. They can warn you about something you might not hear so that you can go 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 begin making unusual sounds that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These sounds may suggest a mechanical problem with your vehicle. If dismissed, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you at risk. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is crucial. Have your hearing checked annually to identify when your hearing loss is extensive enough to require an assistive device. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.