For you and the people in your life, coping 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? Car noises can warn you about dangers ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to worry about. The first thing that someone with neglected hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing assessment. Here are some tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
If possible, bring somebody with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If that’s not possible, ask people to face you when talking to you so you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s important to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to reroute. Before you drive, if you are concerned that you might have a problem with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
If there are circumstances while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service dog
For individuals who have visual impairment, epilepsy, or other issues, a service dog seems obvious. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be very helpful. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
Not only can they assist you with these issues, but they also make a wonderful companion.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency occurs, make a plan. Talk it over it with other people. For example, make sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, choose a designated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues when driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you might find yourself depending more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are nearby.
6. Share your limitations with friends and family
It may be hard to admit, but it’s important that people in your life know about your hearing problems. They can warn you about something you may not hear so that you can get to safety. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle
As someone living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These can indicate a serious problem. Your car could take significant damage and your safety may be in danger if these noises 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 bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Address your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is vital. Get your hearing checked annually to identify when your hearing loss is extensive enough to require an assistive device. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all facets of your life.