Have a Safe And fun Vacation Even if You're Dealing With Hearing Loss


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

Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? There’s the type where you jam every single recreation you can into every single second. This type will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the fun will be remembered for many years to come.

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

Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you take.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no clue they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv louder and louder.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. The first step, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to diminish any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be negatively effected by hearing loss? Well, there are a couple 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. Here are some common examples:

  • You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • You miss important notices: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing out of whack.
  • Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: It’s difficult enough to deal with a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even harder to decipher voices (especially in a noisy setting).
  • Meaningful moments with friends and family can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a hilarious joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be mitigated and decreased. Which means the best way to keep your vacation on track and stress free is to take care of your hearing needs before you go.

How to prepare for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss

All of this isn’t to say 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 added planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously good travel advice.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are a few things you can do:

  • Pre-planning is a smart plan: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more challenges).
  • Pack extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is no fun! Always make sure you bring spares! Now, you might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. You may be required to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good idea to make certain your hearing aids are clean and working properly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent issues from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a smart plan.

Hearing aid travel tips

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to recognize before you head to the airport.

  • If I wear my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend 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.
  • Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. But it’s a good plan to activate flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you travel it’s never a bad plan to get familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have many special rights. But essentially, it comes down to this: information must be accessible to you. So if you think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
  • Do I have to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. Don’t ever let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices generate.
  • 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 what airport it is and what time of day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device fitted throughout many areas. This is a simple 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 noisy and chaotic.
  • How helpful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is very helpful! You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You may be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone in this way.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

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

That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!

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

Getting a hearing test and making sure you have the right equipment is commonly the start of that preparation for people with hearing loss. And that’s true whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or hanging out on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Still have some questions or concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!

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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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