Helpful Safety Tips for Individuals With Hearing Loss

Senior man with hearing loss getting ready to go out with his best friend, a Standard Poodle service dog.

Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family. It can also come with some perils.

What happens if a fire alarm is going off or someone is yelling out your name but you can’t hear them? Car noises can warn you about dangers ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.

But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should worry about. The first thing that somebody with neglected hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing test. Here are several tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.

1. Don’t go out alone

If possible, take somebody with you who is not struggling to hear. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so they are easier to hear.

2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving

Because you can depend less on your hearing, it’s important to minimize other distractions when driving. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and avoid your GPS and phone. If you think you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.

If there are times while you’re driving that you may 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 animals as helpful for people with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be really helpful to those who have auditory challenges. A service dog can be trained to alert you to hazards. They can let you know when someone is at your door.

Not only can they assist you with these issues, but they also make a terrific companion.

4. Have a plan

Before an emergency occurs, prepare a plan. Talk it over it with others. If you plan to move into the basement during a tornado, make sure your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, choose a designated location that you’ll be outside the house.

This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.

5. Pay extra attention to visual clues while driving

Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. You may need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t regularly get your hearing aids calibrated. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.

6. Let family and friends know about your limitations

No one wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but those close to you need to know. You may need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you might have missed. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.

7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle

As someone living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These noises may indicate a mechanical issue with your vehicle. Your car could take significant damage and your safety might be in danger if these sounds aren’t dealt with. It’s a smart idea to ask a trustworthy mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you bring it in for an oil change or inspection.

8. Manage your hearing loss

If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is crucial. In order to identify if you need to get a hearing aid, get your hearing tested yearly. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.

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.

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