Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? There’s the type where you jam every single recreation you can into every single minute. This type will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the fun will be recalled for years to come.
The other kind is all about relaxing. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you spend a lot of time on the beach with some cocktails. Or possibly you spend your whole vacation at some sort of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These types of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.
There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whatever way you prefer, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.
Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss
There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. They just keep turning the volume on their television louder and louder.
But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some proven strategies, and that’s the good news. Making an appointment for a hearing exam is obviously the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly diminished the more prepared you are ahead of time.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can your next vacation be negatively effected by hearing loss? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to compound it can become a real problem. Here are some common examples:
- Language barriers are even more challenging: Managing a language barrier is already hard enough. But understanding voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really loud, makes it much more difficult.
- You miss significant notices: Maybe you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, you could miss out on the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Meaningful experiences with friends and family can be missed: Everybody enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and minimized. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track and free of stress is to take care of your hearing needs before you go.
How to prepare for your vacation when you have hearing loss
All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. That’s not at all true! But it does mean that, when you’re dealing with hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how good your hearing is.
Here are several things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries went dead. Always make certain you bring spares! So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? Well, possibly, check with your airline. Some types of batteries need to be kept in your carry-on.
- Pre-planning is a smart idea: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more challenges).
- Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a good idea to make sure your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent problems from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make sure your suggested maintenance is up to date!
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to know before you head to the airport.
- Will I be able to hear well in the airport? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on which airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This is a simple wire device (although you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are noisy and chaotic.
- Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn your hearing aids off when you hear that “all electronics must be off” spiel. Having said that, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements may be difficult to hear so be certain that you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
- Should I be aware of my rights? Before you travel it’s never a bad idea to get familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have lots of special rights. Basically, you must have access to information. So if you think you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to take out my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s usually a good idea to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. Don’t ever let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices produce.
- Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is very helpful! Once you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct kind of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some stress off your ears.
- Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than usual? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, showering, or swimming (or in a really loud environment), you should be wearing your devices.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a good mindset.
That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable challenge happens.
But you will be surprised less if you make good preparations. With the correct preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a disaster.
For those with hearing loss, this preparation often starts by having your hearing evaluated and making sure you have the equipment and care you require. And that’s the case whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or taking it easy on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam!