Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family members. It can also come with some hazards.
What happens if a smoke detector is sounding or someone is yelling out your name but you’re unable to hear them? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that may be signaling an impending hazard.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. If you are dealing with neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you need to do. Here are several recommendations to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
If possible, bring somebody with you who isn’t dealing with hearing loss. If you have to go out alone, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s essential to stay focused when you’re driving because you can’t depend 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. If you suspect you have an issue 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 request that passengers stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. 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 problems, a service animal seems obvious. But they can also be extremely helpful to people who have auditory problems. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. When someone is at your door they can inform you.
Not only can they assist you with these issues, but they also make a great companion.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency occurs, prepare a plan. Speak with others in your life about it. If you’re planning to go into the basement during a tornado, make sure your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, plan a delegated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act rapidly to assist you.
5. Pay extra attention to visual cues while driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely have your hearing aids calibrated. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. Be extra attentive when pedestrians are nearby.
6. Share your limitations with family and friends
Nobody wants to admit that they have hearing loss, but people in your life need to be aware of it. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you might have missed. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle
As someone living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These can indicate a serious problem. If neglected, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you at risk. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Treat your hearing loss
If you want to be safe, getting your hearing loss treated is crucial. Get your hearing assessed annually to determine when your hearing loss is significant enough to require an assistive device. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids today are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all facets of your life.