For you and the people in your life, coping with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be unsafe.
What happens if a smoke detector is sounding or someone is shouting out your name but you can’t hear them? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that could be signaling an impending threat.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. If you are dealing with untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you should do. For individuals with hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your family remain safe, even when you aren’t likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
If possible, take somebody with you who isn’t dealing with hearing loss. If you need to go out by yourself, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s important to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. Before you drive, if you are worried that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
Don’t feel ashamed if you have to turn off the radio or request that passengers stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for those with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be really helpful to individuals who have auditory issues. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. They can let you know when someone is at your door.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also excellent companions.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency occurs, prepare a plan. Discuss it with others. If you’re planning to go into the basement during a tornado, make sure your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, plan a delegated location that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act quickly to assist you.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues when driving
Your hearing loss has likely worsened over time. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t regularly have your hearing aids tuned. You might not hear sirens so be aware of flashing lights. When kids or pedestrians are nearby, be extra attentive.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
No one wants to admit that they have hearing impairment, but people close to you need to know. They can alert you to something you might not hear so that you can go to safety. If they’re not aware that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
As someone living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These can signal a serious issue. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be at risk if these noises aren’t addressed. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Treat your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is vital. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, get your hearing examined annually. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all aspects of your life.