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

There are a couple of kinds of vacations, right? One kind is full of activities at all times. This type will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the adventures will be remembered for many years to come.

The other kind is all about relaxing. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you spend the entire time on the beach with some drinks. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some sort of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These are the restful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you choose.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, especially if you’re not aware of it. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no clue they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their tv up and up and up.

The nice thing is that there are a few tried and tested ways to reduce the effect hearing loss might 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 more prepared you are before you go, the easier it will be to reduce any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a couple of ways. And while some of them may seem a bit trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common examples include the following:

  • The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
  • Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: Coping with a language barrier is already hard enough. But neglected hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (particularly in a noisy setting).
  • You miss significant notices: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a consequence, your whole vacation schedule is thrown into total chaos.
  • Meaningful moments with friends and family can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a hilarious joke that everyone enjoyed, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be lessened and minimized. So, managing your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.

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. Not by any Means! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively stress-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how good your hearing is.

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

  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good idea to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent issues from developing while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good plan to make certain your suggested maintenance is current!
  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries went dead. Always make certain you bring spares! So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. Some kinds of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.
  • Pre-planning is a good idea: When you have to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

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

  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That depends, some airports are very noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device installed throughout many areas. This is a simple 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 noisy and chaotic.
  • Do I have some rights I need to know about? Before you travel it’s not a bad idea 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 basically, it amounts to this: information must be available to you. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you think you’re missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.
  • Will my smartphone be useful? Your smartphone is really helpful, not surprisingly. Once you land, you can use this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. 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.
  • Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn your hearing aids off when you hear that “all electronics must be off” spiel. Having said that, you may want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements may be hard to hear so be certain that you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to remove my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. That being said, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices create.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be worn every day, all day. So you should be using your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in an extremely loud place, swimming, or showering.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential that you have a positive attitude and treat your vacation like you’re taking on the unexpected.

That way, when something unexpected occurs (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. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.

Having a hearing exam and making sure you have the right equipment is usually the beginning of that preparation for individuals with hearing loss. And that’s the case whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!

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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