Have a Safe And Enjoyable Vacation Even if You’re Dealing With Hearing Loss

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? One type is Packed with activities the whole time. These are the vacations that are remembered for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more exhausted than you left.

Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you’re getting pampered at some resort for your whole vacation. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everyone has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can jeopardize whichever kind of vacation you take.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

There are some distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going higher and higher.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to minimize any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. And while some of them may seem a little insignificant at first, they tend to add up! Some common examples include the following:

  • You miss significant notices: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a consequence, your whole vacation schedule is thrown into total chaos.
  • Special moments with friends and relatives can be missed: Perhaps your friend just told a great joke that everybody enjoyed, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Language barriers become even more tricky: Coping with a language barrier is already hard enough. But untreated hearing loss can make it even harder to understand voices (especially in a noisy situation).
  • You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.

A number of these negative outcomes can be avoided by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, managing your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.

How to get ready for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss

All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of extra planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is definitely practical travel advice.

Here are several things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:

  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is the worst! Remember to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some kinds of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good idea to make certain your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have troubles on vacation. It’s also a good idea to make sure your recommended maintenance is up to date!
  • Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more challenges).

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or maybe it’s the airways. Before you go out to the airport, there are a few things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.

  • Should I be aware of my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s smart to become familiar with your rights before you travel. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you must have access to information. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer help.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on which airport it is and what time of day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. 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.
  • Do I have to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s generally a good idea to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. Never 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 style X-ray devices generate.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely useful! After you land, you can use 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. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than usual? 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 going for a swim (or in a really loud setting), you should be using your devices.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? When they tell you it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good plan to activate flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You may also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. At times, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential to have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re embracing the unexpected.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are on track even when the unavoidable challenge arises.

But you will be caught off guard less if you make good preparations. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.

For individuals who have hearing loss, this preparation often starts by having your hearing assessed and making certain you have the equipment and care you need. And whether you’re taking 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? Give us a call today!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.