Traveling With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Fun Trip!

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

There are two kinds of vacations, right? There’s the kind where you jam every single activity you can into every waking second. This kind will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the adventures will be remembered for many years to come.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Maybe you spend a lot of time on the beach with some drinks. Or maybe you spend your whole vacation at some sort of resort, getting pampered the whole time. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everyone has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you choose.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, particularly if you don’t know you have it. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no idea they have it. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going higher and higher.

The good news is that there are a few proven ways to minimize the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Scheduling a hearing test is definitely the first step. The effect that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly diminished the more ready you are before you go.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a couple of ways. By themselves, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to add up it can become a real issue. Here are a few common examples:

  • Language barriers are even more difficult: Dealing with a language barrier is already hard enough. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very noisy, makes it much more difficult.
  • The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, you could fail to hear the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
  • You miss crucial notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.
  • You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Everybody loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be lessened and decreased. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation on track.

If you have hearing loss, how can you prepare for your vacation?

All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. That’s not at all the case! But with a little extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly stress-free. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is definitely good travel advice.

You can be sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative effect on your vacation, here are a few things you can do:

  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries died. Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some types of batteries must be kept in your carry-on.
  • Pre-planning is a good idea: When you have to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can present some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as possible.
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart plan to make certain your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help avoid issues from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your suggested maintenance is up to date!

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or possibly it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to understand before you head to the airport.

  • Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you hear that “all electronics must be off” spiel. That said, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements may be hard to hear so be certain that you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
  • Should I be aware of my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s good to familiarize yourself with your rights before you travel. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it boils down to this: information has to be available to you. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you suspect you are missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely helpful! You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some strain off your ears.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor style X-ray devices generate.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids anytime you’re not in an extremely noisy place, swimming, or showering.
  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That will depend, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device installed throughout many areas. This is a basic wire device (although you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are noisy and chaotic.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s essential that you have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the unavoidable obstacle occurs.

But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. With the right preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a disaster.

Getting a hearing test and making sure you have the right equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for people who have hearing loss. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.

Still have some questions or concerns? Give us a call today!

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.

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