Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

There are a couple of types of vacations, right? There’s the kind where you jam every single recreation you can into every waking second. This kind will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the adventures will be remembered for years to come.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you spend the entire time on the beach with some drinks. Or maybe you spend your whole vacation at some kind of resort, getting pampered the whole time. These are the peaceful and relaxing kinds of vacations.

There’s no best to vacation. But neglected hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you take.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

There are some distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, especially if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no idea they have it. The volume on all their devices just continues going higher and higher.

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 schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The effect that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly diminished the more ready you are ahead of time.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. And while some of them may seem a bit insignificant at first, they tend to add up! Here are some common instances:

  • The radiant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted as well. After all, you could fail to hear the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
  • Language barriers are even more tricky: Managing a language barrier is already hard enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s really loud, makes it much more difficult.
  • Meaningful moments with friends and relatives can be missed: Everybody enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute disarray.

A number of these negative outcomes can be avoided by simply using your hearing aids. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to take care of your hearing needs before you go.

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

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But with a little extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and fairly hassle-free. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how good your hearing is.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:

  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries quit. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, consult your airline. Some kinds of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you leave on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good idea.
  • Do some pre-planning: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some challenges, so don’t be too spontaneous and prepare as much as possible.

Hearing aid travel tips

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Before you go out to the airport, there are a few things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.

  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. But it’s a good idea to activate 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 may be announcements throughout the flight that are hard to hear.
  • How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is extremely helpful, not shockingly. After you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right type of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some stress off your ears.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to remove my hearing aids? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. Never 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 generate.
  • If I wear my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be used every day, all day. So you should be using your hearing aids anytime you aren’t in a really loud setting, swimming, or showering.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are very noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device installed throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help people who have hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • Do I have some rights I need to be aware of? Before you leave it’s never a bad plan to become familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have lots of special rights. Basically, you must have access to information. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you suspect you are missing some information and they should be able to help.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. At times, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s important that you have a positive mindset and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unexpected.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable challenge arises.

Of course, the flip 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.

Having a hearing test and making sure you have the right equipment is commonly the start of that preparation for people who have hearing loss. And that’s true whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or hanging out on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing test!

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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.