Your Guide to Confident Driving With Hearing Loss

Older man behind the wheel of his car excited to drive since he solved his hearing loss.

Hearing loss is a widespread challenge for older people, but does it require giving up driving? The response isn’t clear-cut, as driving habits vary among individuals.

While hearing loss is a factor to think about when driving a vehicle, a skilled driver remains capable even if they have to adjust the volume on the radio.

Whether hearing loss presents a risk while driving is an important consideration for individuals planning everyday commutes or winter road trips. Is your driving becoming hazardous because of hearing loss?

Think beyond driving…

Early stage hearing loss most likely won’t negatively impact your driving, but if it’s neglected, driving will become progressively more dangerous.

There is a strong link between hearing health and brain health, as reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine. The brain has to work extra hard fighting to hear, which causes it to have fewer resources for other daily tasks. It is a contributing factor to brain atrophy, which results in dementia. Someone suffering from dementia certainly can’t drive.

Should you drive with hearing loss?

You can continue to drive with hearing loss, but it should be mentioned that safe driving demands strong observational skills including auditory awareness. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who have hearing loss, the majority of them still drive as reported by the Center for Hearing Communication.

Guidelines for driving if you have hearing loss

With a few adjustments, you can still stay safe on the road. Here are some tips.

Quit putting off

Visit us, have your hearing tested, and think about how hearing aids can change things for you. Hearing aids can help get rid of the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.

When you drive, be more aware

Even with hearing aids, you will still need to be a more aware driver to ensure you’re not missing anything in or surrounding your vehicle.

Don’t let it get too loud in your car

This will allow you to focus your listening on driving without distractions. Turn the radio off or down and ask your passengers to keep the chit-chat to a minimum.

Keep an eye on your dash lights

It’s the little things that will add up when you drive with hearing loss. For instance, you will no longer hear that clicking sound that tells you that your turn signal is blinking. So routinely look at your dashboard because your eyes will have to compensate.

Make maintenance a priority

Perhaps your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you are unable to hear it. Get your car serviced routinely so you can prevent this major safety risk. For people with hearing loss, this is crucial, even more so than it would be for someone who doesn’t have hearing loss.

Pay close attention to other vehicles around you

Obviously, you would do that anyway, but you want to look for signs you may be missing something. If you see other cars pulling off the road, you should do that as well because you might have missed the sirens. Use the behavior of other drivers to get some visual clues about traffic patterns around you.

Can you drive with hearing loss? That’s up to you. Your other senses will typically adjust to help keep you safe, which means it is possible to drive safely even if your hearing is beginning to go. If the thought of this makes you uneasy, though, then it’s time to come see us and find a solution to improve your situation, like wearing hearing aids.

Come in and let us help you better your quality of life by looking at the hearing solutions that will be appropriate for your distinctive hearing situation.


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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a personalized free hearing test and hearing loss consultation, call today to set up an appointment.

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