Senior man with hearing loss getting ready to go out with his best friend, a Standard Poodle service dog.

For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be dangerous.

What if you can’t hear a smoke detector or someone yelling your name? Car sounds can indicate hazards ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.

Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. If you are dealing with untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you need to do. Here are several recommendations to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they are wearing their hearing aid.

1. Bring a friend with you when you leave the house

If you can, take somebody with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If that’s not possible, ask people to face you when talking to you so that you will have an easier time hearing them.

2. Avoid distractions while driving

It’s essential to stay focused when you’re driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to reroute. Before driving, if you are concerned that you might have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!

3. Think about getting a service animal

You think of service dogs as helpful for those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you have auditory issues, they can also be really helpful. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. They can let you know when somebody is at your door.

Not only can they help with these issues, but they also make a wonderful companion.

4. Make a plan

Before an emergency takes place, make a plan. Discuss it with others. If you plan to go into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, choose a designated spot that you’ll be outside the house.

This way, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act quickly to assist you.

5. Adjust yourself to visual clues while driving

Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. You might need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t regularly get your hearing aids tuned. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. When kids or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra vigilant.

6. Let family and friends know about your limitations

Nobody wants to admit that they have hearing impairment, but those in your life need to know. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you may have missed. If they don’t know that you’re unable to hear, they will think that you hear it too.

7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle

Your car might begin making strange sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These noises could suggest a mechanical problem with your vehicle. If disregarded, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you in danger. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.

8. Manage your hearing loss

If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is vital. In order to know if you need to get a hearing aid, get your hearing tested annually. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids today are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.

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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.