Is loss of hearing interfering with your summer fun? If you don’t know about your hearing loss, it’s even worse. The prolonged decay of hearing that goes along with getting older and some ear diseases can mean that you won’t always recognize that there are some things you can’t hear anymore. You may also stay away from engaging in summer events you love just because you don’t hear as well. You will still be able to get out and have a blast if you find some solutions to your hearing loss challenges.
Loss of hearing can get tricky during summer barbecues. To begin with, there is a lot of background noise. There are a lot of discussions happening around you. On the lawn and in the swimming pool youngsters are shouting and having fun. There is the crackling sound of the stuff cooking on the grill and, of course, the wondrous sounds of the natural world.
If you do have some measure of loss of hearing, all of these noises and sounds can be very frustrating. When a person has hearing decline, background noises tend to take over.
Here are some tips to help you compensate:
Some of the overpowering background noise can be reduced by going to a peaceful place to sit for a while. You may need to look at peoples lips so put your back to the sun.
- Shut off the background music or turn it down, at least. You might choose not to have music if you are hosting the barbecue. If you are going to someone else’s cookout, explain the problem to the host.
- Now and then just walk away. Working to hear takes a lot of energy. Go indoors and away from everyone for a few minutes every hour and go somewhere quiet to recharge.
- Let people know if you can’t hear. People will get frustrated if you try to fake it. If you don’t hear what someone said, let them know. You can also make use of visual clues that you are struggling such as cupping your ear. Usually, people will move closer to you or speak up to help out.
Don’t try to hear everything. Accept that you can’t take part in every discussion. As an alternative, try to participate in smaller groups and set realistic limits for yourself.
What might you be missing out on by staying inside? Don’t be afraid to step outside and concentrate on the sounds of the natural world. You won’t be able to hear everything, but with a small amount of focus, you may be surprised by the sounds you will hear.
Make a game out of it and listen for:
- Birds chirping
- Insects buzzing
- Crickets at night
- Blowing leaves
- The rain falling
- Kids running around and playing
- Dogs barking
- Splashing waves
Manage expectations when going outdoors, to the beach, or for a walk in the park by trying to hear one thing at a time.
Enjoy a Vacation or Maybe Just a Day Trip
Isn’t that what summertime is meant for? What type of vacation would you enjoy? What limitations come with your hearing loss that will affect it? For example, an amusement park could be a bit too much stimulation, but sailing or fishing work nicely. Going out into nature would also work. Take a walk on the boardwalk near the beach or go to a museum.
Don’t let your loss of hearing rob you of your opportunity to travel this summer. If you’re going to fly, inform the airline that you have hearing loss when you book your ticket. Alert the hotel or resort, as well, so they can get you a room with accommodations for the hearing impaired such as smoke alarms with flashing lights or shaking beds and TVs with closed captioning.
Learn how to paint or perhaps take a fitness class to help better yourself this summer. Show up early, so that you can get a spot up front. If you do miss anything, it would be smart to have a friend or two with you to let you know what you might have missed.
This Summer You Should Take Safety Precautions
There are a couple of summer activities that require you to take safety measures to protect yourself, your ears, and any costly hearing assistance devices you own. Play it safe by:
- When you are at the pool or beach, make sure you play it safe. Put in earplugs to prevent ear infections and don’t let your hearing aids get wet.
- Bring someone with you when you go on those nice evening walks. You may miss the warning sounds from potential threats such as oncoming traffic or maybe even a frightening stranger walking up from behind you.
- Safeguard what hearing you do have by wearing ear protection if you go to see the fireworks for Independence Day or to an outdoor concert.
Making The Most of it This Summer
Three easy things will help you eliminate most of these things.
- Get your ears checked by a hearing care specialist. It is possible your hearing loss is treatable.
- Get a professional hearing test, to determine if you do have hearing loss.
- Get high-quality hearing aids. They will filter out background noises so that you hear what’s important.
Summertime is all about having fun. Don’t let the loss of hearing take it away from you.