Hearing Health Blog

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

Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? One kind is full of activities the whole time. These are the trips that are remembered for years later and are packed with adventure, and you go back to work more tired than you left.

The other kind is all about unwinding. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or possibly you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These are the restful and relaxing kinds of vacations.

There’s no best to vacation. Whatever method you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going up and up.

The nice thing is that there are a few tried and tested ways to reduce the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing test is definitely the first step. The effect that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are ahead of time.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a couple of ways. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to add up it can become a real problem. Here are some common instances:

  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is muted. After all, you could miss out on the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
  • You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Everyone enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Language barriers are even more tricky: Dealing with a language barrier is already hard enough. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to decipher voices (particularly in a noisy setting).
  • Essential notices come in but you often miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into total disarray.

Some of these negative outcomes can be prevented by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, managing your hearing requirements is the ideal way to keep your vacation on track.

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. Not by any Means! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively stress-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is clearly practical travel advice.

You can be sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:

  • Pre-planning is a smart plan: It’s okay to be spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more obstacles).
  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries went dead. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some types of batteries must be kept in your carry-on.
  • Clean your hearing aids: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have troubles on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good idea.

Hearing aid travel tips

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Before you go out to the airport, there are a few things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely know about.

  • Will my smartphone be useful? Your smartphone is extremely helpful, not surprisingly. Once you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), get directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? 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 installed throughout many areas. This device is specially made to help people with hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or swimming (or in a super loud environment), you should be wearing your devices.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you travel it’s not a bad idea to get familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have lots of special rights. Basically, you have to have access to information. So if you think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer help.
  • Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they announce that it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. That said, you may want to activate 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 have to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. That being said, 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 produce.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a good attitude.

That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are on track even when the inevitable obstacle occurs.

Of course, the other side to that is that preparation can make a difference. When something goes awry, with the right preparations, you can keep it from going out of control.

For individuals with hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing evaluated and making certain you have the equipment and care you require. And that’s true whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Still have some questions or concerns? Call us today!

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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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