Living with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your loved ones. It can also come with some dangers.
What happens if a fire alarm is sounding or somebody is shouting out your name but you can’t hear them? Car sounds 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 should stress over. If you are dealing with neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you need to do. Here are several recommendations to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.
1. Take a friend with you when you go out
If possible, bring someone with you who is not struggling to hear. If that isn’t possible, ask people to face you when speaking to you so they are easier to hear.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
It’s essential 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 when you’re driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
If there are times 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 visual impairment, epilepsy, or other conditions. But they can also be really helpful to individuals with auditory problems. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.
They can assist you with your hearing problems and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency occurs, make a plan. Speak with others in your life about it. If you plan to move into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, choose a specified spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues
Your hearing loss has likely worsened over time. You may need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t regularly get your hearing aids calibrated. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. Be extra attentive when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your limitations with family and friends
No one wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but those in your life need to know. You may need to get to safety and those around you will be able to make you aware of something you may have missed. 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 drive. These can indicate a serious problem. Your car could take significant damage and your safety might be at risk if these sounds aren’t addressed. It’s a smart idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Have your hearing impairment treated
This is the most imperative thing you can do to stay safe. In order to identify if you need to get a hearing aid, get your hearing screened yearly. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids today are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.