For you and the people in your life, coping with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. Sometimes, it can even be hazardous.
What happens if a fire alarm is sounding or someone is yelling out your name but you’re unable to hear them? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that may be signaling an approaching hazard.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. If you are dealing with neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you need to do. Here are some recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
If you can, bring someone with you who isn’t dealing with hearing loss. If you need to go out by yourself, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
Because you can depend on your hearing less, it’s important to decrease other distractions when driving. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. Before driving, if you are worried that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service animal
For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be really helpful to those who have auditory issues. A service dog can be trained to alert you to hazards. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
They can help you with your hearing issues and they are also excellent companions.
4. Make a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency happens. Talk it over it with others. If you’re planning to move into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where to find if something were to go wrong.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues when 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 may not hear sirens. When kids or pedestrians are nearby, be extra alert.
6. Share your limitations with friends and family
It might be difficult to admit, but it’s important that people in your life know about your hearing issues. You may 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 think that you hear it too.
7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle
As somebody living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These sounds could suggest a mechanical issue with your vehicle. Your car could take serious damage and your safety could be in danger if these sounds aren’t dealt with. It’s a good 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. Address your hearing loss
If you want to be safe, getting your hearing loss treated is vital. Get your hearing checked yearly to identify when your hearing loss is significant enough to require an assistive device. Don’t delay because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all facets of your life.