Living with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your loved ones. In some cases, it can even be hazardous.
What happens if a fire alarm is sounding or somebody is yelling out your name but you’re unable to hear them? Car noises can indicate hazards ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to worry about. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you need to do. For those who wear hearing aids, we have some recommendations to help you and your loved ones remain safe, even when you aren’t likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out alone
If you can, bring someone with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If you have to go out alone, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
Because you can depend less on your hearing, it’s important to minimize other distractions behind the wheel. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to reroute. Before driving, if you are concerned that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
Don’t feel ashamed if you have to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service animal seems obvious. But they can also be really helpful to those with auditory challenges. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.
Not only can they help with these issues, but they also make a wonderful companion.
4. Have a plan
Know what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Talk to others in your life about it. If you’re planning to go into the basement during a tornado, be sure your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, choose a delegated location that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act quickly to assist you.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual cues
Your hearing loss has likely gotten worse over time. You may need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t regularly get your hearing aids calibrated. You might not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. When kids or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra alert.
6. Share your hearing trouble with family and friends
No one wants to admit that they have hearing loss, but those in your life need to know. You might need to get to safety and those around you will be able to warn you about something you may have missed. If they’re not aware that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might begin making peculiar noises that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These noises could suggest a mechanical issue with your vehicle. If neglected, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you at risk. It’s a smart idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Address your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is essential. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing tested annually. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.