If You Have Hearing Loss, These Tips 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, living with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. It can also come with some perils.

What 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 may be signaling an impending hazard.

But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to stress over. The first thing that somebody with untreated hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing assessment. Here are a few recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they’re wearing their hearing aid.

1. Don’t go out alone

If you can, take someone with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If you need to go out alone, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.

2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving

It’s important to stay focused while driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS when you’re driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.

Don’t feel ashamed 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. Consider a service animal

You think of service animals as helpful for those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other conditions. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be really helpful. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.

Not only can they help with these problems, but they also make a terrific companion.

4. Have a plan

Before an emergency occurs, make a plan. Speak with others in your life about it. If you plan to go into the basement during a tornado, be 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 go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act rapidly to help you.

5. Adjust yourself to visual cues while driving

Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you may find yourself relying more on your eyes. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. When kids or pedestrians are around, stay extra attentive.

6. Share your limitations with family and friends

No one wants to disclose that they have hearing impairment, but people in your life need to be aware of it. They can warn you about something you may not hear so that you can get to safety. If they’re not aware that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.

7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle

Your car may start making unusual noises that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These sounds could suggest a mechanical issue with your vehicle. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be at risk if these sounds aren’t dealt with. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.

8. Get your hearing impairment treated

If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is crucial. Have your hearing tested yearly to identify when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids today are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.

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.