For you and the people in your life, coping with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. Sometimes, it can even be hazardous.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone calling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that may be signaling an approaching hazard.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to worry about. If you are dealing with neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you should do. For individuals with hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your family remain safe, even when you’re not likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you go out
Bring someone with healthy hearing out with you if you can. If you need to go out alone, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s essential to remain focused while driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. Before driving, if you are worried that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
If there are times while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no shame. Safety first!
3. Think about getting a service animal
You think of service animals as helpful for those with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other conditions. But they can also be very helpful to individuals who have auditory challenges. A service dog can be trained to warn you of hazards. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
They can assist you with your hearing problems and they are also wonderful companions.
4. Make a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Discuss it with others. If you’re planning to go into the basement during a tornado, be 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 personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual clues
Your hearing loss has likely worsened over time. You might need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t routinely get your hearing aids calibrated. You might not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra attentive.
6. Let friends and family know about your limitations
No one wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but those close to you need to be aware of it. You may need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you might have missed. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As someone living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These sounds may point to a mechanical problem with your vehicle. Your car could take significant damage and your safety could be at risk if these noises aren’t addressed. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Get your hearing loss treated
If you want to be safe, getting your hearing loss treated is essential. Have your hearing checked annually to determine when your hearing loss is substantial enough to require an assistive device. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all aspects of your life.