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

There are a couple of kinds of vacations, right? One kind is Packed with activities at all times. These are the vacations that are remembered for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more worn out than you left.

The other kind is all about relaxing. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or maybe you’re getting pampered at some resort for your entire vacation. These types of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.

Everyone has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you take.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

There are a few distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no idea they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their television louder and louder.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be lessened with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. The first move, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The impact that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly diminished the more prepared you are in advance.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be negatively effected by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. By themselves, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to compound it can become a real problem. Some common illustrations include the following:

  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted too. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
  • Essential notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing out of whack.
  • Special moments with friends and relatives can be missed: Everyone enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Language barriers become even more difficult: It’s difficult enough to overcome a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even harder to decipher voices (especially in a noisy situation).

Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be lessened and decreased. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and stress free is to manage your hearing needs before you start.

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

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you’re dealing with hearing loss, a little bit of extra planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is definitely practical travel advice.

Here are several things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:

  • Do a little pre-planning: When you have to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart plan to make certain your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help avoid issues from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good plan.
  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is the worst! Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, check with your airline. Some kinds of batteries need to be kept in your carry-on.

Hearing aid travel tips

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Before you head out to the airport, there are a few things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely know about.

  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on which airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will usually be set up in many areas of most modern airports. 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 loud and chaotic.
  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than normal? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be using your hearing aids anytime you’re not in an extremely loud setting, swimming, or showering.
  • Do I need to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. It’s generally a good plan to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices create.
  • Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they announce that it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good plan to enable flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be difficult to hear so be certain that you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is really useful! Once you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct type of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You may be able to take some stress off your ears if you can utilize your phone in this way.
  • Should I know my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s good to become familiar with your rights before you travel. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But essentially, it amounts to this: information must be available to you. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you feel like you’re missing some information and they should be able to help.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are unpredictable. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. That’s why it’s important to have a good mindset and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.

That way, when something unforeseen occurs (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!

But you will be caught off guard less if you make good preparations. When something goes awry, with the right preparations, you can keep it from going out of control.

For those who have hearing loss, this preparation frequently starts by having your hearing assessed and making certain you have the equipment and care you require. And whether you’re on 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? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam!

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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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