For you and the people in your life, coping with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. It can also come with some perils.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or somebody yelling your name? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that could be signaling an impending threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. If you are dealing with untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you should do. Here are some tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
Bring someone with good hearing out with you if possible. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when talking to you so they are easier to hear.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s essential to remain focused while driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and avoid your phone and GPS. Before you drive, if you are worried that you might have a problem with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you have to turn off the radio or request that passengers stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for people with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be very helpful to individuals who have auditory problems. A service dog can be trained to warn you of danger. When someone is at your door they can inform you.
They can assist you with your hearing issues and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency comes about, make a plan. Speak with others in your life about it. For instance, be certain your family knows that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, plan a designated spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act rapidly to help you.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues when driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. When kids or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra alert.
6. Share your limitations with family and friends
It may be tough to admit, but it’s important that people in your life know about your hearing issues. They can alert you to something you may not hear so that you can get to safety. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume 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. If dismissed, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you in danger. 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 important thing you can do to remain safe. Have your hearing tested annually to determine when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t wait because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all aspects of your life.