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

There are a couple of kinds of vacations, right? One type is full of activities at all times. This type will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the fun 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 kind of vacation. Maybe you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or possibly you spend your entire vacation at some sort of resort, getting pampered the whole time. These types of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.

There’s no best to vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you choose.

Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, especially if you don’t know you have it. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. The volume on all their devices just keeps going higher and higher.

The nice thing is that there are some tried and tested ways to minimize the effect hearing loss might 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 good times will be greatly diminished the more ready you are in advance.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can your next vacation be negatively impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to add up it can become a real problem. Some common illustrations include the following:

  • Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: Dealing with a language barrier is already hard enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very noisy, makes it much more difficult.
  • Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.
  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
  • Meaningful experiences with friends and family can be missed: Everyone enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.

Some of these negative situations can be prevented by simply wearing your hearing aids. Which means the best way to keep your vacation on track and stress free is to take care of your hearing needs before you start.

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

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 fun and fairly stress-free. Of course, that’s pretty 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:

  • Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a smart idea to make sure your hearing aids are clean and working properly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent issues from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your suggested maintenance is up to date!
  • Pre-planning is a good idea: When you need to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can present some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.
  • Pack extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is no fun! 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 which airline you’re using. Some kinds of batteries must be kept in your carry-on.

Hearing aid travel tips

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to know before you head to the airport.

  • Do I have to take my hearing aids out 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. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
  • How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is extremely helpful, not surprisingly. After you land, you can utilize this device to change 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. You may be able to take some stress off your ears if you can utilize your phone like this.
  • Should I be aware of my rights? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s good to become familiar with your rights before you travel. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have lots of special rights. But basically, it boils down to this: information has to be accessible to you. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer help.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. But it’s a good idea to enable flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements could be difficult to hear so be certain that you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
  • If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you’re not in a really loud place, swimming, or showering.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That will depend, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will usually 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.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are unpredictable 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 positive mindset.

That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!

However, the flip side to that is that preparation can go a long way. When something goes wrong, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from going out of control.

Having a hearing exam and making sure you have the right equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for people who have 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 guidance will still hold.

Still have some questions or concerns? Call us today!

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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.
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