Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family members. Sometimes, it can even be dangerous.
What if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone yelling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that could be signaling an approaching threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should worry about. The first thing that somebody with neglected hearing loss should do is get a hearing test. Here are a few recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
If you can, bring somebody with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If you need to go out by yourself, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s important to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and stay away from your phone and GPS. Before you drive, if you are worried that you might have an issue with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
If there are times 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. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you have auditory problems, they can also be really helpful. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also wonderful companions.
4. Make a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency strikes. Talk to others in your life about it. For instance, make sure your family is aware that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. In case of a fire, choose a specified location that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where to find if something were to go wrong.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues while driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself relying more on your eyes. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. When children or pedestrians are around, stay extra vigilant.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
It might be tough to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life know about your hearing loss. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you may have missed. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
Your car might start making unusual sounds that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These can indicate a serious problem. Your car could take serious damage and your safety might be at risk if these sounds aren’t dealt with. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Treat your hearing loss
This is the most critical thing you can do to remain safe. In order to know if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing examined annually. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.