Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family members. It can also come with some perils.
What happens if a smoke detector is going off or somebody is shouting out your name but you’re unable to hear them? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that may be signaling an impending hazard.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. If you are dealing with untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you should do. Here are a few tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are wearing their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out alone
If you can, take somebody 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. Stay focused when you drive
Because you can rely on your hearing less, it’s essential to minimize other distractions when driving. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and avoid your phone and GPS. Before you drive, if you are worried that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
Don’t feel ashamed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Think about getting a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for people with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you have auditory problems, they can also be really helpful. A service dog can be trained to warn you of danger. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
Not only can they help with these problems, but they also make a terrific companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency comes about, make a plan. Talk it over it with other people. If you’re planning to go 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 to find if something were to go wrong.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues when driving
Your hearing loss has likely worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. When kids or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra attentive.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
Nobody wants to disclose that they have hearing impairment, but those close to you need to be aware of it. You might need to get to safety and those around you will be able to make you aware of something you may have missed. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As a person living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These noises could indicate a mechanical problem with your vehicle. If ignored, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle 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 bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Get your hearing loss treated
This is the most imperative thing you can do to stay safe. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing tested annually. Don’t delay 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.