Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the type where you jam every single activity you can into every single moment. This type will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the adventures will be remembered for many years to come.
Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you spend a lot of time on the beach with some drinks. Or perhaps you’re getting pampered at some resort for your whole vacation. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.
There’s no best to vacation. Whichever way you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
There are a few distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, particularly if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going higher and higher.
The good news is that there are a few proven ways to lessen the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing test is obviously the first step. The effect that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are before you go.
How can hearing loss effect your vacation
So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? Well, there are a couple of ways. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to compound it can become a real issue. Here are a few common examples:
- You miss significant notices: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a result, your whole vacation schedule is thrown into total chaos.
- Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: It’s hard enough to overcome a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very loud, makes it much harder.
- Meaningful experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Perhaps your friend just told a great joke that everyone enjoyed, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted as well. After all, you could fail to hear the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
A number of these negative situations can be avoided by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, managing your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
How to get ready for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s nowhere near true! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is definitely practical travel advice.
You can be certain 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: When you have to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be overly spontaneous and prepare as much as possible.
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries went dead. Remember to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. You may be required to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
- Clean your hearing aids: Before you go out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart idea.
Hearing aid travel tips
Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Before you head out to the airport, there are some things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.
- Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be using your hearing aids anytime you’re not in a really noisy setting, swimming, or showering.
- Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you hear that “all electronics must be off” spiel. But it’s a good plan to activate flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be difficult to hear so make sure you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That depends, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This is a basic wire device (although 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.
- Do I have some rights I need to know about? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s good to familiarize yourself with your rights before you go. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have many special rights. But essentially, it amounts to this: information must be accessible to you. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer help.
- How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is extremely useful, 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. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone in this way.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to take out my hearing aids? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are unpredictable. At times, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s important to have a good attitude and treat your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.
That way, when something unforeseen occurs (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!
But you will be surprised less if you make good preparations. With the correct preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.
Getting a hearing exam and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for individuals with hearing loss. And that’s true whether you’re going to 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? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!