Living with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family. It can also come with some hazards.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or someone yelling your name? Car noises can warn you about hazards ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to worry about. If you are dealing with untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you need to do. Here are a few tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
Bring somebody with good hearing out with you if possible. If you have to go out alone, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s important to stay focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and stay away from your GPS and phone. Before driving, if you are concerned that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
If there are moments while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other conditions. But if you’re dealing with auditory problems, they can also be very helpful. A service dog can be trained to warn you of hazards. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
They can assist you with your hearing issues and they are also wonderful companions.
4. Have a plan
Determine what you’ll do before an emergency happens. Talk it over it with others. If you plan to go into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, plan a designated location that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act quickly to assist you.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual clues
Your hearing loss has probably worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you might find yourself relying more on your eyes. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your hearing trouble with friends and family
It might be tough to admit, but it’s important that people in your life know about your hearing issues. They can alert you to something you may not hear so that you can go to safety. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As somebody living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These sounds could suggest a mechanical issue with your vehicle. Your car could take significant damage and your safety might be in danger if these noises aren’t addressed. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is essential. Have your hearing checked yearly to determine when your hearing loss is extensive enough to require an assistive device. Don’t wait because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all aspects of your life.