For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be dangerous.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone yelling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that may be signaling an impending hazard.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. The first thing that someone with untreated hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing assessment. For people with hearing aids, we have some recommendations to help you and your loved ones remain safe, even when you’re not likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
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
It’s essential to remain focused while driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and stay away from your GPS and phone. If you think you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
If there are circumstances 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. Consider a service dog
For individuals who have visual impairment, epilepsy, or other problems, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be extremely helpful to those with auditory challenges. A service dog can be trained to alert you to hazards. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
Not only can they assist you with these problems, but they also make a wonderful companion.
4. Make a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency happens. Discuss it with other people. For instance, make sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. In case of a fire, choose a designated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act rapidly to help you.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues
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. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are nearby.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
It may be hard to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life are aware of your hearing loss. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you might have missed. If they don’t know that you’re unable to hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might start making peculiar noises that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These noises may point to a mechanical issue with your vehicle. If disregarded, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you at risk. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Address your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is crucial. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing tested annually. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.