Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

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

There are a couple of kinds of vacations, right? There’s the kind where you cram every single activity you can into every single second. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more tired than you left.

Then there are the relaxing types 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) at the beach. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the whole time. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whichever way you choose, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. They just keep cranking the volume on their television up and up and up.

The nice thing is that there are a few proven ways to minimize the effect hearing loss might have on your vacation. The first move, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to lessen any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can your next vacation be negatively effected by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. And while some of them might seem a little trivial at first, they tend to add up! Here are a few common instances:

  • Meaningful experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Everybody enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
  • Language barriers are even more challenging: It’s hard enough to overcome a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even harder to understand voices (especially in a noisy situation).
  • Important notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
  • 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 unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.

Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be lessened and minimized. So, managing your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.

How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss

All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s nowhere near true! But with a little extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly stress-free. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is clearly practical travel advice.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative effect on your vacation, here are a number of things you can do:

  • Pre-planning is a smart idea: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more obstacles).
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: 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.
  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is the worst! Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You might need to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.

Hearing aid travel tips

Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many people have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to recognize before you head to the airport.

  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. That said, you might want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You may also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are hard to hear.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is really helpful, not surprisingly. You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You may be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone like this.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will usually be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specially made to help people with hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than usual? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, taking a shower, or going for a swim (or in a really loud environment), you should be wearing your devices.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you travel it’s never a bad plan to become familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have lots of special rights. But basically, it amounts to this: information has to be accessible to you. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
  • Do I have to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices produce.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. Not everything is going to go right all the time. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a good attitude.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable obstacle happens.

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

Having a hearing examination and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for people who have hearing loss. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.

Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Give us a call 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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