When you most people think about hearing loss they imagine how it can make it a bit harder to communicate—however the truth is that aside from communication issue, living with undiagnosed or untreated hearing loss can be Living with hearing loss can be quite dangerous!
Our hearing is a sense which connects us to the world around us, keeping us alert and aware of our surroundings. What if we don’t hear the engine of a car approaching from behind or miss the sound of a fire alarm?! Hearing loss affects our reaction time to sounds and, in an emergency, this can turn into quite a liability for you, your family or even your employer. Here are some tips to stay safe when you have hearing loss.
Schedule a Hearing Exam
The best course of action is to address a hearing loss as soon as you suspect it is an issue, however it is not always easy to self-diagnose. Even when the signs are clear, denial often keeps us from taking the steps to schedule a hearing exam and seek the treatment we need to keep us and those around us safe. Once you know you have a hearing loss, we can help you find the hearing aids you need to enhance your daily communication and receive the support you need to stay safer every day. However, even hearing aids are not always a foolproof solution. Here are some tips to help keep you safe even with hearing aids.
Get Customized Alarms for People with Hearing Loss
When your hearing aids are on during the day, it may be easy to hear an alarm, but you can’t wear them in the shower or when you are sleeping. There is always the possibility that an alarm will go off when you are not wearing your hearing aids, creating a dangerous situation. The most common types of hearing loss, age related and noise induced, both commonly cause high frequency hearing loss which makes it difficult to hear high pitched sounds such as a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector or burglar alarm. To ensure that you’ll always have ample warning for these types of emergencies, many people find that alarms equipped with lights or bed shakers can add an extra element of awareness for people who have hearing loss and may be the difference that keeps you safe in the face of an emergency.
Avoid Distractions While Driving
Driving with hearing loss means you need even more concentration than you do without. When this essential sense is compromised it is easier to miss the beeping of a horn or the sound of an engine which clues you in to its location. Accidents can happen in split seconds so and even with hearing aids it is important to stay extra alert. A GPS navigational system connected to your smartphone is convenient but can cause more distraction as texts and notifications come in. If you can invest in a system just for navigation while driving. Keep the windows up and minimize conversation while driving to help keep focused just on the road. It is important to protect you and everyone else driving, every time you get behind the wheel. Of course, if you use hearing aids, always make sure you are wearing them when you drive!
Let people in your life know about your hearing loss
It can be hard to admit you have a hearing loss. This is in part due to stigmas in our society of feeling like admitting you have a hearing loss will make you seem old, or weak. The truth is that being open about hearing loss is the first step towards achieving more independence, improved communication, and better overall health for years to come. These days we know that hearing loss can happen to anyone of any age. What is important is to talk to the people in your life and let them know what they can do to help you communicate better with you, each time you interact. This can include reminding them to keep eye contact with you so you can follow what they are saying with greater ease, or reminding them that a busy restaurant they love might be a hard place for you to communicate in.
Even with hearing aids, communication can be a challenge. However, addressing hearing loss is the first step! Contact us today to schedule your next hearing exam and find out what you can do to help keep you and those around you as safe as possible for years to come.