Vacationing With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Fun Trip!

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

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you cram every single recreation you can into every single moment. This kind will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the adventures will be recalled for years to come.

The other kind is all about unwinding. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you drink some 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 pampered the entire time. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everyone has their own concept 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 a few distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv louder and louder.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some proven strategies, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing exam is obviously the first step. The more ready you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to reduce any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to compound it can become a real problem. Some common examples 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 also. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
  • You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Maybe your friend just told a hilarious joke that everybody loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Language barriers become even more tricky: It’s hard enough to overcome a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to decipher voices (particularly in a noisy situation).
  • You miss important notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is cast into absolute chaos.

Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be mitigated and decreased. So, taking care of your hearing requirements is the ideal way to keep your vacation on track.

If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. That’s nowhere near true! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of extra planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is clearly practical travel advice.

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

  • Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a smart plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning correctly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help avoid issues from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your suggested maintenance is current!
  • Pack extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is the worst! Remember 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 kinds of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.
  • Pre-planning is a good plan: It’s okay to be spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more obstacles).

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 a number of things about flying with hearing aids you should certainly be aware of.

  • Should I know my rights? It’s a good idea! Generally, it’s smart to become familiar with your rights before you travel. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you must 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 will most likely offer help.
  • Will my smartphone be useful? Your smartphone is very helpful, not shockingly. You can utilize 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. You may be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to use your phone like this.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That depends, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device fitted throughout many areas. This device is specially made to help individuals with hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? 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 swimming (or in an extremely loud setting), you should be wearing your devices.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to take out my hearing aids? You won’t need to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. Don’t ever allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
  • Can I use my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? When they tell you it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. Having said that, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements may be difficult to hear so make sure you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a positive attitude.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the unavoidable challenge arises.

But you will be surprised less if you put together good preparations. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.

For people with hearing loss, this preparation frequently starts by having your hearing assessed and making sure you have the equipment and care you need. 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 concerns? Call us today!

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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