Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? One type is Packed with 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. Perhaps you spend the entire time on the beach with some cocktails. Or maybe you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These are the peaceful and relaxing kinds of vacations.
There’s no best to vacation. Whatever way you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, particularly if you don’t know you have it. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. On all their devices, the volume just continues going up and up.
The nice thing is that there are some tried and tested ways to minimize the effect 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 in advance.
How can hearing loss effect your vacation
So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. And while some of them might seem a little trivial at first, they tend to add up! Here are some common examples:
- Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s hard enough to contend with a language barrier. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very noisy, makes it much harder.
- You can miss important moments with friends and family: Perhaps your friend just told a hilarious joke that everyone enjoyed, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
- 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, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
- You miss crucial notices: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be mitigated and decreased. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to take care of your hearing needs before you go.
How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss
That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on vacation if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly stress-free. 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 impact on your vacation, here are a number of things you can do:
- Keep your hearing aids clean: It’s a smart idea to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning correctly before you jump 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 sure your suggested maintenance is up to date!
- Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries quit. Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. Some types of batteries need to be stored in your carry-on.
- Pre-planning is a smart plan: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can present some challenges, so don’t be overly spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.
Hearing aid travel tips
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are certainly some good things to recognize before you head to the airport.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? How well you can hear in the airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specially made to help individuals who have hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
- Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are hard to hear.
- Do I have some rights I need to know about? Before you leave it’s not a bad idea to get familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you must have access to information. So if you think you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer help.
- Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is extremely useful, not shockingly. You can use your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. 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, be certain that 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 produce.
- Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than usual? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, showering, or swimming (or in an extremely noisy environment), you should be using your devices.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s important to have a positive attitude and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unexpected.
That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable obstacle happens.
But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. With the right preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.
Having a hearing exam and making certain you have the correct equipment is commonly the start 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 hanging out on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
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