Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? There’s the kind where you jam every single activity you can into every single moment. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more worn out than you left.
Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or possibly you spend your whole vacation at some kind of resort, getting pampered the entire time. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.
Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can jeopardize whichever kind of vacation you take.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, especially if you don’t know you have it. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. They just keep turning the volume on their tv up and up and up.
But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some proven strategies, and that’s the good news. The first move, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The effect that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are ahead of time.
How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss
So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? Well, there are a couple of ways. And while some of them might seem a bit trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common illustrations include the following:
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
- You can miss important moments with friends and family: Everyone enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
- You miss significant notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing out of whack.
- Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: Coping with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But understanding voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very noisy, makes it much more difficult.
Some of these negative outcomes can be avoided by simply using your hearing aids. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
How to prepare for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss
That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on vacation if you have hearing loss. That’s not at all true! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively hassle-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously good travel advice.
Here are some things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:
- Pre-planning is a smart plan: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more difficulties).
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is no fun! Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, consult your airline. You may be required to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good idea to make certain your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good idea.
Hearing aid travel tips
Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Many people have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to know before you head to the airport.
- Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.
- How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is extremely useful, not shockingly. After you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct type of hearing aid), get directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You might be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone like this.
- Should I know my rights? Before you leave it’s never a bad plan to get familiar with your rights. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it boils down to this: information has to be accessible to you. So if you think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
- Do I need to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You won’t be required to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices produce.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That will depend, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help individuals who have hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
- If I use my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, taking a shower, or swimming (or in a super loud environment), you should be using your devices.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. At times, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a good mindset.
That way, when something unexpected happens (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
However, the flip side to that is that preparation can go a long way. When something goes wrong, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from getting out of control.
For people with hearing loss, this preparation frequently starts by getting your hearing tested and making sure you have the hardware and care you require. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.
Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!