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Older man behind the wheel of his car excited to drive since he solved his hearing loss.

Many older people experience hearing loss, but does that mean it’s unsafe for them to drive? Driving habits differ amongst different people so the response isn’t clear-cut.

Even if some adjustments have to be made to the volume of the radio, hearing loss shouldn’t mean a seasoned driver has to stop driving.

For people who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss presents a threat while driving is a crucial consideration. Is your hearing loss making you a unsafe driver?

Think beyond driving…

Early stage hearing loss probably won’t negatively effect your driving, but if it’s neglected, driving will become progressively more dangerous.

There is a solid connection between hearing health and brain health, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. The brain has to work extra hard fighting to hear, which causes it to have fewer resources for other day-to-day activities. It has a negative impact on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. A person suffering from dementia definitely can’t drive.

Should you drive with hearing loss?

You can continue to drive with hearing loss, but it should be noted that safe driving requires strong observational skills including auditory awareness. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss, the majority of them still drive as reported by the Center for Hearing Communication.

Tips for driving if you have hearing loss

With a few adjustments, you can still stay safe on the road. Here are some tips.

Stop procrastinating

Visit us, have your hearing tested, and think about how hearing aids can change things for you. Hearing aids can help eliminate the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.

When you drive, be more aware

You will still need to be observant about what’s going on around your vehicle even if you have hearing aids.

Don’t let it get too noisy in your car

This will help you be less distracted. Turn the radio off or down and ask your passengers to keep the chatter to a minimum.

Remember to check your dashboard often

When you drive with hearing loss, the little things can mount up. You may not be capable of hearing that clicking noise that your turn signal makes, for instance. So routinely look at your dashboard because your eyes will need to pick up the slack.

Keep your vehicle well maintained

You might not hear that rattling noise under the hood now or the warning bell telling you there is an issue with your engine or another crucial component. That is a major safety risk, so make a point of getting your car serviced regularly. For individuals with hearing loss, this is important, even more so than it would be for somebody who doesn’t have hearing loss.

Pay close attention to other vehicles around you

Of course, you would do that anyway, but you want to watch for signs you may be missing something. You may not hear emergency sirens, for example, so if the cars are pulling off to the side, you should too. watch to see how other drivers are responding to their surroundings to get clues on what you might not be hearing.

So is it possible to safely drive when you have hearing loss? It’s really a personal decision. Your other senses will normally adjust to help keep you safe, which means it is feasible to drive safely even if your hearing has started to go. But if you’re feeling worried about it, make an appointment to come see if we can help you better your situation, possibly with hearing aids.

Come in and let us help you better your quality of life by investigating the hearing solutions that will be appropriate for your unique hearing situation.

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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.