There are two types of vacations, right? One type is Packed with activities the whole time. These are the vacations that are remembered for years later and are packed with adventure, and you go back to work more exhausted than you left.
Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you spend a lot of time on the beach with some cocktails. Or maybe you spend your whole vacation at some kind of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These are the restful and relaxing kinds of vacations.
There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whatever method you choose, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.
Hearing loss can ruin 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 sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no idea they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their television louder and louder.
But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some proven methods, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly diminished the more ready you are before you go.
How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss
So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? Well, there are a number of ways. And while some of them might seem a bit trivial at first, they tend to add up! Here are some common examples:
- Getting past language barriers can be frustrating: It’s difficult enough to deal with a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very noisy, makes it much harder.
- Meaningful moments with friends and family can be missed: Everyone enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
- The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is muted. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
- You miss important notices: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and decreased. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track and stress free is to take care of your hearing needs before you go.
If you have hearing loss, how can you prepare for your vacation?
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. Not by any Means! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively stress-free. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is obviously good travel advice.
Here are some things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:
- Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more difficulties).
- Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries quit. Always make sure you bring spares! Now, you might be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some kinds of batteries need to be kept in your carry-on.
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning correctly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help avoid issues from happening while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good plan.
Hearing aid travel tips
Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Before you head out to the airport, there are some things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.
- Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or swimming (or in an extremely loud setting), you should be wearing your devices.
- How useful is my smartphone? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is very helpful! You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you can utilize your phone like this.
- Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they announce that it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. That said, you may want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You may also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
- Do I need to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You won’t need to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. It’s usually a good idea to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
- Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That will depend, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This is a basic 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 should be aware of? It’s not a bad idea! In general, it’s good to become familiar with your rights before you travel. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you must have access to information. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you suspect you are missing some info and they should be able to help.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
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 essential that you have a good mindset and manage your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.
That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are on track even when the unavoidable obstacle arises.
But you will be surprised less if you make good preparations. When something goes wrong, with the right preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.
For people who have hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing assessed and making sure you have the hardware and care you require. And that’s accurate whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or taking it easy 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? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam!