For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. Sometimes, it can even be dangerous.
What happens if a smoke detector is going off or someone is yelling out your name but you can’t hear them? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that could be signaling an approaching threat.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. The first thing that a person with neglected hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing assessment. Here are a few recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.
1. Bring a friend with you when you go out
If possible, take somebody with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If that’s not possible, ask people to face you when speaking to you so that they are easier to hear.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s essential to stay 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 phone and GPS. Before driving, if you are worried that you might have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
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
You think of service dogs as helpful for individuals with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be really 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 help you with your hearing issues and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency happens. Talk to people in your life about it. As an example, 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, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act rapidly to assist you.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual clues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. You may need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t regularly get your hearing aids calibrated. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
No one wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but people in your life need to know. You might need to get to safety and those around you will be able to warn you about something you may have missed. If they don’t know that you’re unable to hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might begin making strange noises that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can signal a serious issue. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be in danger if these noises aren’t dealt with. It’s a smart idea to ask a trustworthy mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
This is the most critical thing you can do to stay safe. Get your hearing checked yearly to determine when your hearing loss is significant enough to require an assistive device. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all facets of your life.