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

Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? One type is Packed with activities at all times. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you go back to work more exhausted than you left.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps 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 whole time. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.

Everybody has their own idea of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can jeopardize whichever kind of vacation you take.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

There are some distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no clue they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their tv up and up and up.

But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be lessened with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing test is obviously the first step. The more prepared you are before you go, the easier it will be to minimize 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? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. By themselves, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to compound it can become a real issue. Some common illustrations include the following:

  • The vibrant 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 distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute chaos.
  • Language barriers are even more challenging: Dealing with a language barrier is already hard enough. But untreated hearing loss can make it even harder to understand voices (particularly in a noisy situation).
  • Meaningful experiences with friends and family can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a hilarious joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be lessened and decreased. So, managing your hearing requirements is the ideal 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 impossible. That’s nowhere near the case! But it does mean that, when you’re dealing with hearing loss, a little bit of extra planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice no matter how strong your hearing is.

Here are some things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:

  • 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 less likely to have troubles on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart idea.
  • Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some 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 obstacles).
  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is no fun! Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some kinds of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Before you go out to the airport, there are a number of things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should certainly be aware of.

  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to remove my hearing aids? You won’t need to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. It’s usually a good idea to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor style X-ray devices generate.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you hear that “all electronics must be off” announcement. That said, you might want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You may also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • 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 what airport it is and what time of day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help people who have hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you leave it’s not a bad idea to get familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have lots of special rights. Basically, you must have access to information. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you feel like you are missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than usual? 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 a super noisy setting), you should be wearing your devices.
  • Will my smartphone be useful? Your smartphone is really helpful, not shockingly. You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some stress off your ears.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. That’s why it’s important to have a good mindset and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are on track even when the inevitable challenge arises.

But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. When something goes wrong, with the right preparations, you can keep it from going out of control.

For individuals who have hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing tested 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 taking it easy on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Give us a call today!

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