There are a couple of kinds of vacations, right? There’s the type where you cram every single recreation you can into every waking second. These are the trips that are remembered for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more worn out than you left.
The other kind is all about unwinding. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you spend the entire time on the beach with some cocktails. Or perhaps you’re getting pampered at some resort for your entire vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.
Everybody has their own idea of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can put a damper on whichever kind of vacation you choose.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
There are a few distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no idea they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their television up and up and up.
But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be lessened with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. The first step, 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 hearing loss impact your vacation
So how can your next vacation be negatively effected by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. By themselves, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to compound it can become a real issue. Some common illustrations include the following:
- The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is dull. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
- Language barriers are even more tricky: It’s hard enough to contend with a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (especially in a noisy situation).
- You miss important notices: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a result, your whole vacation schedule is thrown into absolute disarray.
- You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Everyone enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and minimized. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation on track.
How to get ready for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s not at all the case! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively stress-free. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how strong your hearing is.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids die on the first day is the worst! Always make sure you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? Well, possibly, consult your airline. Some kinds of batteries need to be kept in your carry-on.
- Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more obstacles).
- Clean your hearing aids: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. This can help avoid problems from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a smart idea.
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or possibly it’s the airways. Before you go out to the airport, there are some things about flying with hearing aids you should certainly be aware of.
- How helpful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is very useful, not surprisingly. You can use your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct kind of hearing aid, you can use 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 could take some strain off your ears.
- Can I use my hearing aids on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good plan to enable flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You may also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are hard to hear.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? 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. Don’t ever let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can create a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
- If I use my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, taking a shower, or going for a swim (or in a super noisy environment), you should be wearing your devices.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That will depend, some airports are very noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help individuals with hearing aids hear their environment better.
- Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you go. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But essentially, it amounts to this: information has to be accessible to you. So if you think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a positive mindset.
That way, when something unexpected occurs (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
Of course, the flip side to that is that preparation can go a long way. When something goes awry, with the right preparations, you can keep it from going out of control.
For people who have hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by getting your hearing evaluated and making sure you have the equipment and care you need. 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).
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