For you and the people you love, living with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. Sometimes, it can even be hazardous.
What happens if a fire alarm is going off or someone is shouting out your name but you’re unable to hear them? Car noises can indicate hazards ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. The first thing that a person with neglected hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing exam. Here are some recommendations to help keep people with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
If you can, bring somebody with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If you need to go out by yourself, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
Because you can depend on your hearing less, it’s essential to decrease other distractions when driving. Don’t use your phone or GPS when you’re driving, just pull over if you need to reroute. If you suspect you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Think about getting a service dog
For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be very helpful to people with auditory issues. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. They can let you know when somebody is at your door.
They can assist you with your hearing problems and they are also good companions.
4. Have a plan
Determine what you’ll do before an emergency strikes. Talk it over it with other people. If you’re planning to go into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act quickly to help you.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual cues
Your hearing loss has likely gotten worse over time. You may need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely have your hearing aids calibrated. You might not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. Be extra attentive when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your hearing trouble with family and friends
No one wants to disclose that they have hearing impairment, but those close to you need to know. They can alert you to something you might not hear so that you can go to safety. If they don’t know that you can’t hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle
Your car may start making peculiar noises that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These can signal a serious problem. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be in danger if these sounds aren’t dealt with. It’s a good idea to ask a trusted 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 loss treated
This is the most imperative thing you can do to stay safe. Have your hearing checked yearly to determine when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.