Coping with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family members. It can also come with some dangers.
What happens if a fire alarm is sounding or someone is shouting out your name but you can’t hear them? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear those car sounds that could be signaling an impending hazard.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to worry about. The first thing that someone with neglected hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing test. Here are several tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they are wearing their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
Bring someone with healthy hearing out with you if possible. If that isn’t possible, ask people to face you when speaking to you so that you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s essential to stay focused while driving because you can’t depend 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 reroute. Before you drive, if you are concerned that you might have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
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 shame. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service dog
For individuals who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be really helpful to people with auditory issues. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. They can inform you when somebody is at your door.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also great companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency takes place, make a plan. Talk to others in your life about it. If you plan to move into the basement during a tornado, be sure your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where you will be if something were to go wrong.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely get your hearing aids tuned. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. When kids or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra vigilant.
6. Share your hearing trouble with family and friends
Nobody wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but people close to you need to know. They can warn you about something you might not hear so that you can go to safety. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle
As someone living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These sounds could suggest a mechanical issue with your vehicle. If ignored, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you at risk. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
If you want to be safe, getting your hearing loss treated is essential. In order to know if you need to get a hearing aid, have your hearing examined annually. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.