Vacationing 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? There’s the type where you cram every single recreation you can into every single second. These are the trips that are recalled 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 type of vacation. Maybe you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting pampered at some resort for your whole vacation. These types of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.

There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whichever way you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. They just keep turning the volume on their tv up and up and up.

The nice thing is that there are some proven ways to reduce the effect hearing loss could have on your vacation. The first step, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The impact that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly diminished the more prepared you are in advance.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can your next vacation be adversely 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 add up it can become a real problem. Here are some common instances:

  • You miss important notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into total chaos.
  • Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: 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.
  • You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is dull. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
  • You can miss important moments with friends and family: Everyone loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.

Some of these negative situations can be averted by simply wearing your hearing aids. 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.

How to prepare for your vacation when you’re dealing with hearing loss

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of extra planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is definitely practical travel advice.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:

  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries went dead. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, consult your airline. Some types of batteries must be kept in your carry-on.
  • Pre-planning is a good idea: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some challenges, so don’t be overly spontaneous and plan as much as you can.
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart idea to make sure your hearing aids are clean and working correctly before you hop on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a good idea.

Hearing aid travel tips

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Many individuals have questions about flying with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to understand before you head to the airport.

  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to take out my hearing aids? You won’t be required to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. That being said, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. Don’t ever allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor style X-ray devices create.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is really helpful! Once you land, you can utilize this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right type of hearing aid), get 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 could take some strain off your ears.
  • Do I have some rights I need to know about? Before you leave it’s never a bad idea to become 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 comes down to this: information has to be accessible to you. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you suspect you are missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good idea to enable 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 difficult to hear.
  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device fitted 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 loud and chaotic.
  • If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So you should be using your hearing aids anytime 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 hard to predict. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s important to have a good attitude and treat your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are on track even when the unavoidable challenge happens.

However, the other side to that is that preparation can go a long way. When something goes amiss, with the right preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.

Getting a hearing examination and making sure you have the right equipment is usually the beginning of that preparation for people who have hearing loss. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.

Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Call us today!

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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