Living with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family. In some cases, it can even be dangerous.
What if you can’t hear a smoke detector or someone calling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that may be signaling an impending hazard.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. The first thing that somebody with untreated hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing assessment. For those who wear hearing aids, we have some recommendations to help you and your family stay safe, even when you aren’t likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
If possible, take someone with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If you need to go out alone, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s essential to stay focused while driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and stay away from your phone and GPS. Before you drive, if you are concerned that you might have a problem with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
If there are moments while you’re driving that you may need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
For individuals who have visual impairment, epilepsy, or other issues, a service animal seems obvious. But if you have auditory problems, they can also be very helpful. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.
Not only can they help with these challenges, but they also make a terrific companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency takes place, prepare a plan. Talk to others in your life about it. For instance, be sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. 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. When you’re driving, adjust to visual cues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you might find yourself relying more on your eyes. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are nearby, be extra vigilant.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
It might be difficult to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life are aware of your hearing problems. You might need to get to safety and those around you will be able to make you aware of something you might have missed. If they’re not aware that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car may start making unusual noises that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can signal a serious issue. Your car could take serious damage and your safety might be in danger if these sounds aren’t addressed. It’s a smart idea to ask a trustworthy mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Have your hearing impairment treated
This is the most critical thing you can do to remain safe. In order to know if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing screened yearly. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.