There are two kinds of vacations, right? One kind is Packed with activities the whole time. These are the vacations that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more exhausted than you left.
The other kind is all about relaxing. You may not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Perhaps you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you spend your whole vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These kinds of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.
There’s no right or wrong way 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
Your vacation can become a difficulty 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 continues going up and up.
The nice thing is that there are some tried and tested ways to lessen the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. Scheduling a hearing test is obviously the first step. The more ready you are ahead of time, 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 effect your next vacation? 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 compound it can become a real problem. Some common examples include the following:
- Important notices come in but you frequently miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.
- You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted too. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- Language barriers are even more tricky: It’s difficult enough to contend with a language barrier. But neglected hearing loss can make it even harder to understand voices (especially in a noisy situation).
- You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Perhaps your friend just told a hilarious joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
A number of these negative situations can be averted by simply wearing your hearing aids. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track and free of stress is to manage your hearing needs before you start.
If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s nowhere near the case! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how strong your hearing is.
You can be sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative effect on your vacation, here are some things you can do:
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is no fun! Always make sure you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You may need to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
- Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you leave on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help prevent issues from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart plan.
- Pre-planning is a smart plan: When you have to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can present some challenges, so don’t be too spontaneous and prepare as much as possible.
Hearing aid travel tips
Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Many people 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 out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. 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.
- Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That will depend, some airports are really 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 (although 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 noisy and chaotic.
- If I use my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So you should be using your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in a really noisy place, swimming, or showering.
- Should I be aware of my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s smart to become familiar with your rights before you go. 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 think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer help.
- Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. That said, you might want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements could be hard to hear so be certain that you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
- How helpful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is extremely helpful, not shockingly. You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is prepared to do all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some stress off your ears.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s essential that you have a positive attitude and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.
That way, when something unforeseen happens (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!
Of course, the flip side to that is that preparation can make a difference. When something goes awry, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from going out of control.
Having a hearing examination and making sure you have the correct equipment is usually the start of that preparation for people with hearing loss. And that’s true whether you’re going to 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? Give us a call today!