Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family members. In some cases, it can even be hazardous.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone calling your name? Car noises can warn you about dangers ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. If you have neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you need to do. For people who wear hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe, even when you’re not likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
If you can, bring someone with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If you have to go out by yourself, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
Because you can rely less on your hearing, it’s essential to minimize other distractions when driving. Don’t use your phone or GPS when you’re driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. Before driving, if you are concerned that you might have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
If there are circumstances while you’re driving that you may need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service dog
You think of service animals as helpful for those with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be very helpful to people with auditory issues. A service dog can be trained to warn you of hazards. When someone is at your door they can inform you.
Not only can they assist you with these issues, but they also make a great companion.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency comes about, prepare a plan. Speak with others in your life about it. As an example, be sure your family knows that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual clues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. You might need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t routinely have your hearing aids calibrated. You might not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your limitations with friends and family
No one wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but those in your life need to be aware of it. You might need to get to safety and those around you will be able to warn you about 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
Your car may start making strange sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These noises may indicate a mechanical issue with your vehicle. If ignored, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you at risk. It’s a good idea to ask a trustworthy mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Get your hearing impairment treated
If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is vital. In order to know if you need to get a hearing aid, have your hearing examined annually. Don’t delay because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.