Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you jam every single activity you can into every waking minute. This type will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the fun will be remembered for many years to come.
The other kind is all about relaxing. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you spend the entire time on the beach with some drinks. Or maybe you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your whole vacation. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.
There’s no best to vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on 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 know you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no idea they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their tv louder and louder.
The good news is that there are a few tried and tested ways to minimize the effect hearing loss could have on your vacation. 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 diminished the more prepared you are before you go.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can your next vacation be negatively 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. Here are a few common instances:
- Special experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Everybody loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
- Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s difficult enough to contend with a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very noisy, makes it much harder.
- 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 spot is alive with unique sounds, like bustling 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. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into total disarray.
Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects 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’re dealing with hearing loss
That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively stress-free. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is clearly practical travel advice.
Here are several things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:
- Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries quit. Always make sure you bring spares! Now, you might be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. Some kinds of batteries need to be stored in your carry-on.
- Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a good idea to make certain your hearing aids are clean and working properly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help avoid issues from happening while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good plan.
- Do some pre-planning: When you have to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can present some challenges, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as you can.
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. Many people have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to recognize before you head to the airport.
- Should I be aware of my rights? Before you leave it’s never a bad plan to become familiar with your rights. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But essentially, it amounts to this: information must be accessible to you. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to remove my hearing aids? You won’t be required to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. It’s generally a good plan to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. Don’t ever let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices generate.
- Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. That said, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You may also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
- How helpful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely useful! After you land, you can utilize this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct kind of hearing aid), get directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You may be able to take some stress off your ears if you’re able to use your phone in this way.
- Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in an extremely noisy place, swimming, or showering.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? How well you can hear in the 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 is a simple wire device (though you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are loud and chaotic.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a positive attitude.
That way, when something unforeseen happens (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
However, the other side to that is that preparation can make a difference. When something goes amiss, with the right preparations, you can keep it from getting out of control.
For people who have hearing loss, this preparation often begins by getting your hearing evaluated and making sure you have the hardware and care you require. And that’s the case whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Still have some questions or concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!