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

There are two types of vacations, right? There’s the type where you cram every single activity you can into every single second. This type will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the fun will be remembered for years to come.

Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you spend the entire time on the beach with some drinks. Or maybe you’re getting pampered at some resort for your whole vacation. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.

There’s no best to vacation. Whichever method you prefer, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, especially if you don’t know you have it. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no idea they have it. The volume on all their devices just continues going up and up.

The good news is that there are a few proven ways to reduce the effect hearing loss could have on your vacation. Scheduling a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are ahead of time.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. By themselves, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real problem. Here are some common examples:

  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted as well. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute disarray.
  • Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s hard enough to contend with a language barrier. But neglected hearing loss can make it even more difficult to decipher voices (particularly in a noisy situation).
  • Special experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Everyone loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.

A number of these negative situations can be avoided by simply wearing your hearing aids. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and stress free is to take care of your hearing needs before you go.

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

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. That’s not at all true! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively hassle-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice regardless of how strong 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: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good plan to make sure your recommended maintenance is current!
  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries went dead. Remember to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. You may be required to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Pre-planning is a good idea: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some challenges, so don’t be overly spontaneous and plan as much as possible.

Hearing aid travel tips

Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many people have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to recognize before you go to the airport.

  • If I use my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you’re not in a really loud setting, swimming, or showering.
  • Do I have some rights I need to know about? Before you leave it’s not a bad plan to get 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 comes down to this: information must be available to you. So if you think you’re missing out on some info, 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 need to take out my hearing aids? You won’t need to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. It’s usually 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, make sure 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.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. Having said that, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements could be difficult to hear so make sure you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That depends, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help people with hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
  • How helpful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is very useful! You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right kind of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You might be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to use your phone in this way.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. At times, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s important to have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable obstacle happens.

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

Getting a hearing exam and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for individuals who have hearing loss. And that’s the case whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or taking it easy on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Still have some questions or concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!

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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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