Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

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

There are a couple of types of vacations, right? One type is full of activities at all times. These are the vacations that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you go back to work more exhausted than you left.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or maybe you spend your whole vacation at some sort of resort, getting pampered the entire time. These are the restful and relaxing kinds of vacations.

Everybody has their own idea of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you choose.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. On all their devices, the volume just continues going higher and higher.

But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing test is obviously the first step. The more ready you are before you go, the easier it will be to lessen any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. By themselves, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to add up it can become a real issue. Some common illustrations include the following:

  • Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: Managing a language barrier is already difficult enough. But neglected hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (especially in a noisy setting).
  • Important notices come in but you frequently miss them: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. And as a consequence, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into total disarray.
  • The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • You can miss important moments with friends and family: Everyone loved the funny 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.

Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be lessened and minimized. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track and stress free is to manage your hearing needs before you start.

If you have hearing loss, how can you prepare for your vacation?

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s not at all the case! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and fairly stress-free. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is definitely practical travel advice.

You can be sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative effect on your vacation, here are a few things you can do:

  • Do some pre-planning: When you need to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some challenges, so don’t be overly spontaneous and prepare as much as possible.
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and working properly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good idea to make certain your recommended maintenance is current!
  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries quit. Remember to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. Some kinds of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.

Hearing aid travel tips

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

  • 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 setting, swimming, or showering.
  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That depends, some airports are very noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device setup throughout many areas. This device is specially made to help individuals with hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • Can I wear my hearing aids on the plane? You won’t need to turn off your hearing aids when you hear that “all electronics must be off” announcement. But it’s a good plan to enable flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies 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.
  • Do I have some rights I should be aware of? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s good to become familiar with your rights before you go. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 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.
  • Do I have to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You won’t be required to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. It’s generally a good plan to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can generate a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is really helpful, not shockingly. After you land, you can use this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct type of hearing aid), get directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You might be able to take some strain off your ears if you can utilize your phone in this way.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a good attitude.

That way, when something unforeseen occurs (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!

But you will be surprised less if you put together good preparations. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a disaster.

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

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Give us a call today!

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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.
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