Traveling With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Enjoyable Trip!

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

There are a couple of types of vacations, right? One kind is Packed with activities at all times. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more worn out than you left.

Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Perhaps you spend the entire time on the beach with some drinks. Or perhaps you’re getting pampered at some resort for your whole vacation. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whatever method you prefer, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, especially if you’re not aware of it. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. They just keep turning the volume on their tv louder and louder.

But the effect 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 exam is obviously the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are in advance.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. By themselves, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to compound it can become a real problem. Here are some common examples:

  • You miss significant notices: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
  • The vibrant 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 spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
  • Language barriers become even more challenging: Managing a language barrier is already difficult enough. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s really loud, makes it much more difficult.
  • Special moments with friends and family can be missed: Everybody enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and minimized. So, taking care of your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.

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

All of this isn’t to say 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. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how good your hearing is.

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

  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good idea to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning correctly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have troubles on vacation. It’s also a good plan to make sure your recommended maintenance is up to date!
  • 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 might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, consult your airline. Some kinds of batteries must be kept in your carry-on.
  • Pre-planning is a good plan: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more challenges).

Hearing aid travel tips

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Before you go out to the airport, there are some things about going on a plane with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.

  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on which airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will normally be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This is a basic wire device (although 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 noisy and chaotic.
  • Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? You won’t have to turn your hearing aids off when you hear that “all electronics must be off” announcement. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements throughout the flight that are hard to hear.
  • How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is really useful, not surprisingly. You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it could take some strain off your ears.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s usually a good idea to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. Never let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than usual? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you’re not in a really loud place, swimming, or showering.
  • 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’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it comes down to this: information must be available to you. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you suspect you are missing some info and they should be able to help.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are unpredictable. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s essential that you have a positive attitude and treat your vacation like you’re taking on the unexpected.

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

However, the other side to that is that preparation can make a difference. When something goes awry, with the right preparations, you can keep it from getting out of control.

Having a hearing examination and making certain you have the right equipment is commonly the start 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 (relaxing 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 concerns? Give us a call 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.