There are a couple of types of vacations, right? One type is full of activities the whole time. These are the trips that are remembered for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more tired than you left.
Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These are the restful and relaxing kinds of vacations.
Everybody has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whatever method you prefer, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.
Hearing loss can spoil a vacation
Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, particularly if you’re not aware of it. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no clue they have it. The volume on all their devices just continues going higher and higher.
But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be lessened with some proven methods, and that’s the good news. The first step, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The effect that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are before you go.
How can hearing loss impact your vacation
So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. By themselves, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to compound it can become a real issue. Some common illustrations include the following:
- You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
- You can miss significant moments with friends and family: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everybody loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
- Language barriers are even more tricky: It’s hard enough to deal with a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really loud, makes it much harder.
- You miss significant notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be lessened and decreased. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track and free of stress is to take care of your hearing needs before you start.
How to prepare for your vacation when you have hearing loss
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s not at all true! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and fairly stress-free. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is definitely good travel advice.
You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are a number of things you can do:
- Pre-planning is a good idea: It’s okay to remain 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 difficulties).
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is no fun! Always make sure you bring spares! So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. Some kinds of batteries need to be stored in your carry-on.
- Clean your hearing aids: Before you go out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have troubles on vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your suggested 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, possibly. Before you head out to the airport, there are some things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely know about.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to take out my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s usually a good idea to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that 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.
- Should I know my rights? Before you travel it’s never a bad idea to become familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it amounts to this: information has to be accessible to you. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you suspect you are missing some info and they should be able to help.
- Can I use my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t have to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. But it’s a good plan to enable flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements during the flight that are hard to hear.
- If I use my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids anytime you’re not in an extremely noisy place, swimming, or showering.
- Will my smartphone be useful? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is very useful! Once you land, you can utilize this device to adjust 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 strain off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone in this way.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? 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.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a good mindset.
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 put together good preparations. With the correct preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.
For individuals with hearing loss, this preparation often begins by having your hearing evaluated and making sure you have the equipment and care you require. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.
Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Give us a call today!