If You Have Hearing Loss, These Guidelines Will Keep You Safer

Senior man with hearing loss getting ready to go out with his best friend, a Standard Poodle service dog.

For you and the people in your life, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. Sometimes, it can even be unsafe.

What happens if a smoke detector is sounding or someone is shouting 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 sounds that may be signaling an approaching threat.

Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you should do. Here are some recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are wearing their hearing aid.

1. Don’t go out by yourself

Bring someone with healthy hearing out with you if possible. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when talking to you so that they are easier to hear.

2. Stay focused when you’re driving

It’s important to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and stay away from your GPS and phone. 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 have to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!

3. Consider a service dog

For people who have visual impairment, epilepsy, or other issues, a service dog seems obvious. But if you’re dealing with auditory challenges, they can also be very helpful. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. They can let you know when somebody is at your door.

Not only can they assist you with these problems, but they also make a wonderful companion.

4. Have a plan

Identify what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Speak with others in your life about it. For instance, make sure your family knows that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.

This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where you will be if something were to go wrong.

5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues

Your hearing loss has likely gotten worse over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you might find yourself relying more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. Be extra vigilant when pedestrians are around.

6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble

No one wants to disclose that they have hearing impairment, but those close to you need to know. You may need to get to safety and those around you will be able to make you aware of something you may have missed. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.

7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle

Your car may begin making peculiar sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These sounds could indicate a mechanical issue with your vehicle. If disregarded, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you in danger. It’s a smart 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. Treat your hearing loss

If you want to be safe, getting your hearing loss treated is essential. Get your hearing tested yearly to identify when your hearing loss is substantial enough to require an assistive device. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all facets of your life.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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