Living with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your loved ones. In some cases, it can even be dangerous.
What happens if a fire alarm is going off or someone is shouting out your name but you’re unable to hear them? Car noises can warn you about dangers ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. If you are dealing with neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you should do. For individuals with hearing aids, we have some recommendations to help you and your loved ones stay safe, even when you aren’t likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Bring a friend with you when you go out
If possible, take someone with you who is not 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 when you’re 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 avoid your GPS and phone. Before you drive, if you are concerned that you may have a problem with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
Don’t feel ashamed if you have to turn off the radio or request that passengers stop talking during more critical 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 loss of vision, epilepsy, or other problems, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be very helpful to individuals who have auditory issues. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.
They can assist you with your hearing problems and they are also wonderful companions.
4. Make a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Talk it over it with other people. If you’re planning to go into the basement during a tornado, make sure your family knows where they’ll find you. 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. Pay extra attention to visual clues when driving
Your hearing loss has most likely gotten worse over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so be aware of flashing lights. Be extra vigilant when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your limitations with friends and family
It may be hard to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life know about your hearing issues. They can alert you to something you might not hear so that you can go to safety. If they don’t know that you can’t hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
Your car may begin making strange noises that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These noises may point to a mechanical issue with your vehicle. If ignored, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you in danger. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
This is the most important thing you can do to remain safe. In order to know if you require a hearing aid, get your hearing tested annually. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all facets of your life.