Traveling With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Fun Trip!

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

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you cram every single recreation you can into every waking moment. This type 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 might 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 maybe you’re getting pampered at some resort for your whole vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.

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

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. The volume on all their devices just continues going higher and higher.

The good news is that there are some tried and tested ways to lessen the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. The first move, 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 fun times will be greatly reduced the more ready you are ahead of time.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely effected by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. Individually, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real problem. Some common examples include the following:

  • You can miss significant moments with friends and family: Everyone loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
  • Important notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. And as a consequence, your whole vacation schedule is thrown into absolute chaos.
  • Language barriers become even more difficult: Managing a language barrier is already difficult enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really loud, makes it much more difficult.
  • The radiant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted as well. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.

Some of these negative situations can be averted by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, managing your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.

How to prepare for your vacation when you have hearing loss

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. Not by any Means! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly hassle-free. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice no matter how strong your hearing is.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:

  • Pre-planning is a smart plan: When you have to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be overly spontaneous and prepare as much as possible.
  • Clean your hearing aids: Before you leave on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help prevent problems from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your recommended maintenance is up to date!
  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is no fun! Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You might need to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Before you go out to the airport, there are a number of things about flying with hearing aids you should certainly know about.

  • Do I need to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids 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 do not go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices create.
  • Can I use my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you hear 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. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements throughout the flight that are hard to hear.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will normally be set up 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.
  • Will my smartphone be useful? Your smartphone is really helpful, not surprisingly. After you land, you can utilize this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right type of hearing aid), get directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You may be able to take some strain off your ears if you can use your phone like this.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in a really loud setting, swimming, or showering.
  • Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s good to familiarize yourself with your rights before you travel. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have lots of special rights. But essentially, it boils down to this: information must be available to you. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you suspect you’re missing some information and they will most likely be able to help.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

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

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are on track even when the inevitable challenge occurs.

But you will be caught off guard less if you make good preparations. With the correct preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.

Getting a hearing test and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for people with hearing loss. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Call us today!

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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