For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be hazardous.
What if you can’t hear a smoke detector or somebody calling your name? Car sounds can indicate dangers 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 untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you need to do. Here are a few recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.
1. Bring a friend with you when you leave the house
If you can, take someone with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If you have to go out alone, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
Because you can rely less on your hearing, it’s important to decrease other distractions behind the wheel. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and stay away from your phone and GPS. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
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
For individuals who have visual impairment, epilepsy, or other problems, a service animal seems obvious. But they can also be extremely helpful to individuals who have auditory problems. A service dog can be trained to alert you to hazards. They can let you know when somebody is at your door.
They can assist you with your hearing problems and they are also good companions.
4. Make a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency strikes. Talk to people in your life about it. If you plan to go into the basement during a tornado, make sure your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, choose a delegated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act rapidly to help you.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual clues
Your hearing loss has most likely worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you might find yourself depending more on your eyes. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. When children or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra vigilant.
6. Let family and friends know about your limitations
It may be difficult to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life are aware of your hearing problems. They can warn you about something you may not hear so that you can go to safety. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As someone living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These can signal a serious issue. Your car could take serious damage and your safety may be at risk if these noises aren’t addressed. It’s a good 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
This is the most imperative thing you can do to remain safe. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing screened yearly. Don’t wait because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.