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

There are two types of vacations, right? One type is Packed with activities at all times. These are the trips that are remembered for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more tired than you left.

Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you spend a lot of time on the beach with some cocktails. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some sort of resort, getting pampered the whole time. These are the peaceful and relaxing kinds of vacations.

There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whichever way you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.

Hearing loss can ruin a vacation

There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no clue they have it. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going higher and higher.

The nice thing is that there are a few proven ways to minimize the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. The first move, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready 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 hearing loss impact your vacation

So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? Well, there are a number of ways. And while some of them may seem a little trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Here are some common instances:

  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. This can cast your entire vacation timing into chaos.
  • Meaningful moments with friends and family can be missed: Everybody enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
  • Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s hard enough to overcome a language barrier. But neglected hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (especially in a noisy situation).
  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and minimized. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and stress free is to manage your hearing needs before you go.

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

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s nowhere near the case! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice regardless of how good your hearing is.

Here are several things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:

  • Pre-planning is a good idea: When you have to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can present some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as you can.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a good plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and working properly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good plan to make sure your recommended maintenance is current!
  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries quit. Remember to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some types of batteries must be kept in your carry-on.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

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

  • Do I need 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 allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
  • Should I know my rights? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s good to become familiar with your rights before you travel. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it comes down to this: information must be available to you. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you suspect you’re missing some info and they should be able to help.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will usually be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This is a basic wire device (though 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.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is really helpful! You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can use 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 use your phone in this way.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or going for a swim (or in a really noisy environment), you should be using your devices.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t need to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. But it’s a good idea to enable flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You may also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are hard to hear.

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 essential to have a positive mindset and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.

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

Of course, the flip side to that is that preparation can go a long way. When something goes awry, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.

For people who have hearing loss, this preparation often begins by getting your hearing evaluated and making sure you have the hardware and care you require. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice 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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