There are two kinds of vacations, right? One kind is Packed with activities the whole time. This type will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the adventures will be remembered for many years to come.
The other kind is all about relaxing. You might not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Maybe you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some sort of resort, getting pampered the whole time. These types of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.
Everyone has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can put a damper on whichever kind of vacation you choose.
Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss
Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, especially if you don’t know you have it. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. The volume on all their devices just keeps going higher and higher.
But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some proven methods, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing test is obviously the first step. The more ready you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to lessen any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss
So how can your next vacation be adversely effected by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. And while some of them may seem a bit trivial at first, they tend to add up! Here are a few common examples:
- You miss significant notices: Maybe you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute disarray.
- The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted too. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Special experiences with friends and family can be missed: Everybody loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
- Getting past language barriers can be frustrating: It’s hard enough to overcome a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (particularly in a noisy setting).
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and minimized. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to take care of your hearing needs before you go.
How to prepare for your vacation when you have hearing loss
That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. That’s not at all the case! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively stress-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how strong your hearing is.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:
- Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more challenges).
- Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries died. Always make sure you bring spares! Now, you might be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, consult your airline. You might need to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart plan to make certain your hearing aids are clean and functioning correctly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your recommended maintenance is up to date!
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 definitely some good things to recognize before you go to the airport.
- How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is really helpful, not surprisingly. After you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right type of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You may be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to use your phone in this way.
- Do I have some rights I need to know about? Before you travel it’s never a bad idea to get familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you must have access to information. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you suspect you are missing some information and they will most likely be able to help.
- If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will suggest 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 an extremely loud environment), you should be using your devices.
- Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. That said, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements could be hard to hear so be certain that you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
- Do I need to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. That being said, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. Don’t ever let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can generate a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
- Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That will depend, some airports are very noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This is a basic wire device (though 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 loud and chaotic.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s essential to have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.
That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!
Of course, the flip side to that is that preparation can make a difference. When something goes amiss, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from getting out of control.
For those with hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by getting your hearing tested 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? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!