Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you jam every single activity you can into every single second. This type will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the adventures will be remembered for years to come.
The other kind is all about unwinding. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or maybe you spend your whole vacation at some sort of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These kinds of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.
Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you take.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, especially if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no idea they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their television louder and louder.
The good news is that there are a few tried and tested ways to minimize the effect hearing loss could have on your vacation. 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 fun times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are in advance.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can your next vacation be negatively impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. By themselves, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to compound it can become a real issue. Here are some common examples:
- You can miss significant moments with friends and family: Everybody loved the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
- The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
- Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing into chaos.
- Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s difficult enough to deal with a language barrier. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very loud, makes it much more difficult.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be lessened and decreased. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track and free of stress is to manage your hearing needs before you start.
How to prepare for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss
All of this doesn’t mean 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 added planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how good your hearing is.
Here are some things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:
- Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more challenges).
- Clean your hearing aids: Before you leave on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. This can help avoid issues from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good plan to make sure your recommended maintenance is up to date!
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries went dead. Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. You may be required to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to recognize before you go to the airport.
- 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. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. 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.
- Should I know my rights? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s smart to become familiar with your rights before you go. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have many special rights. 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 will most likely 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 what airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will usually be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help individuals with 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 you should be using your hearing aids whenever you’re not in a really loud setting, swimming, or showering.
- How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is really helpful, not surprisingly. After you land, you can use this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone like this.
- Can I wear my hearing aids on the plane? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. 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 could be announcements during the flight that are hard 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. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive mindset.
That way, when something unexpected happens (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
However, the other side to that is that preparation can go a long way. When something goes awry, with the right preparations, you can keep it from getting out of control.
For those who have hearing loss, this preparation often begins by getting your hearing assessed and making sure you have the hardware and care you require. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.
Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Call us today!