Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? One kind is full of activities the whole time. This kind will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the adventures will be recalled for years to come.
Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Maybe you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or possibly you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.
There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. But neglected hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you take.
Hearing loss can spoil a vacation
There are some distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. They just keep turning the volume on their tv up and up and up.
The good news is that there are a few tried and tested ways to reduce the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing exam is obviously the first step. The more prepared you are before you go, the easier it will be to minimize any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss
So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? Well, there are a number of ways. 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 examples include the following:
- Essential 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 cast into absolute chaos.
- Getting past language barriers can be frustrating: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really noisy, makes it much more difficult.
- You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted too. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Meaningful moments with friends and family can be missed: Everybody loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be mitigated and minimized. Which means the best way to keep your vacation on track and free of stress is to manage your hearing needs before you go.
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 not at all the case! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of extra planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how good your hearing is.
Here are some things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:
- Pre-planning is a good idea: When you have to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some challenges, so don’t be overly spontaneous and prepare as much as possible.
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is the worst! Always make sure you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, consult your airline. You may be required to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
- Clean your hearing aids: Before you head out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good plan to make certain your suggested maintenance is current!
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 maybe it’s the airways. Before you head out to the airport, there are a few things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely know about.
- Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This is a basic 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.
- Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? Before you leave it’s never 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 have to have access to information. 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.
- How helpful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is really helpful, not shockingly. After 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 capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some strain off your ears.
- 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. It’s generally a good plan to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can create a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
- Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids anytime you’re not in a really loud place, swimming, or showering.
- Can I wear my hearing aids on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. Having said that, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go right all the time. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive mindset.
That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are moving in the right direction even when the unavoidable obstacle occurs.
But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. When something goes awry, with the right preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.
Getting a hearing test and making certain you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for people with hearing loss. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.
Still have some questions or concerns? Give us a call today!