For you and the people in your life, living with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be hazardous.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone yelling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that may be signaling an approaching threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to worry about. The first thing that someone with neglected hearing loss should do is get a hearing exam. For individuals who use hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your family remain safe, even when you’re not likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you go out
If you can, bring someone with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If that’s not possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
It’s important to remain 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 change your route. Before you drive, if you are worried that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
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 shame. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you’re dealing with auditory problems, they can also be really helpful. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.
They can assist you with your hearing problems and they are also great companions.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency happens, make a plan. Talk it over it with others. If you’re planning to move into the basement during a tornado, make 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. Adjust yourself to visual clues when driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you might find yourself relying more on your eyes. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. When kids or pedestrians are around, stay extra vigilant.
6. Share your limitations with family and friends
Nobody wants to disclose that they have hearing impairment, but those in your life need to know. They can warn you about something you may not hear so that you can get to safety. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might begin making peculiar sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can indicate a serious issue. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be in danger if these sounds aren’t addressed. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
This is the most important thing you can do to stay safe. Have your hearing assessed annually to determine when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all aspects of your life.