Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? There’s the type where you cram every single recreation you can into every single moment. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more worn out than you left.
Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your whole vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.
There’s no best to vacation. But neglected hearing loss can put a damper on whichever kind of vacation you choose.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, 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 idea they have it. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going up and up.
The nice thing is that there are a few proven ways to reduce the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Scheduling a hearing test is obviously the first step. The effect that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are in advance.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can your next vacation be negatively effected by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. And while some of them might seem a little trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Here are a few common examples:
- Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: It’s difficult enough to deal with a language barrier. But neglected hearing loss can make it even harder to decipher voices (particularly in a noisy situation).
- You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted as well. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
- 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 out of whack.
- You can miss important moments with friends and family: Everyone loved the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and decreased. So, taking care of 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 doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. Not by any Means! But with a little extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly hassle-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously good travel advice.
Here are several things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:
- Pre-planning is a good idea: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be overly spontaneous and plan as much as you can.
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is the worst! Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You might be required to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart plan to make certain your hearing aids are clean and functioning correctly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your recommended maintenance is current!
Hearing aid travel tips
Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or possibly it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to know before you go to the airport.
- Can I use my hearing aids on the plane? You won’t need to turn off your hearing aids when you hear that “all electronics must be off” spiel. That said, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements could be difficult to hear so make sure you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
- Do I have to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. It’s generally a good idea to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. Never let your hearing aids 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.
- How helpful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is very useful, not shockingly. Once you land, you can use 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. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will usually be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help people with hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
- If I use my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids anytime you aren’t in a really loud place, swimming, or showering.
- Do I have some rights I should be aware of? It’s a good idea! Generally, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you travel. If you’re dealing with 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. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you think you are missing some information and they should be able to help.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. At times, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a good attitude.
That way, when something unforeseen occurs (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!
Of course, the flip side to that is that preparation can go a long way. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.
For those with hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing tested and making sure you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s true whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or hanging out 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!