There are two kinds of vacations, right? One type is full of activities the whole time. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more exhausted than you left.
Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These types of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.
There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whichever way you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.
Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss
There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no clue they have it. The volume on all their devices just keeps going higher and higher.
The nice thing is that there are a few tried and tested ways to lessen the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. The first step, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to reduce any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can hearing loss effect your vacation
So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. And while some of them may seem a little trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Here are some common instances:
- The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted too. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Special moments with friends and family can be missed: Everyone loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
- Important notices come in but you often miss them: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.
- Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s hard enough to overcome a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very loud, makes it much harder.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be lessened and minimized. So, managing your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of added planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is clearly good travel advice.
Here are several things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart plan to make certain your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help avoid problems from developing while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your recommended maintenance is up to date!
- Pack extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is no fun! Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, consult your airline. You might need to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
- Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more difficulties).
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Before you go out to the airport, there are some things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should certainly be aware of.
- Do I have some rights I should be aware of? Before you travel it’s not a bad plan to get familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have lots of special rights. Basically, you must have access to information. So if you think you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer help.
- Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is really helpful, not shockingly. After you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), get directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some stress off your ears.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to remove my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s usually a good plan to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. Never let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices create.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help people who have hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
- Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they announce that it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. That said, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements throughout the flight that are hard to hear.
- Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than usual? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, showering, or swimming (or in an extremely noisy setting), you should be using your devices.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. At times, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential to have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.
That way, when something unforeseen occurs (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
However, the flip side to that is that preparation can make a difference. With the correct preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a disaster.
For those with hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by having your hearing tested and making sure you have the equipment and care you need. And that’s accurate whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or taking it easy on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!