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

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? One type is Packed with activities the whole time. These are the trips that are recalled for years later and are packed with adventure, and you head back to work more exhausted than you left.

The other kind is all about relaxing. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you spend the entire time on the beach with some drinks. Or possibly you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting pampered the whole time. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. Whichever method you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even realize they have it and it eventually creeps up on them. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv up and up and up.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. The first move, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The impact that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are before you go.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. Individually, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real issue. Here are a few common instances:

  • You can miss important moments with family and friends: Everyone loved the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you missed the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
  • Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s difficult enough to contend with a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even harder to decipher voices (particularly in a noisy setting).
  • You miss important notices: Maybe you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute disarray.
  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted too. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.

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

How to prepare for your vacation when you have hearing loss

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. Not by any Means! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and fairly hassle-free. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how strong your hearing is.

Here are some things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:

  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is the worst! Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, check with your airline. You may be required to keep your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more challenges).
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you go out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help prevent problems from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart idea.

Hearing aid travel tips

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

  • Can I wear my hearing aids on the plane? You won’t have to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. Having said that, you might want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • Do I have to take my hearing aids out when I go through TSA security? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. Don’t ever allow your hearing aids to 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 aids.
  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will usually be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This is a simple 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.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is very useful! After you land, you can use this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct kind 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 like this.
  • If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or going for a swim (or in an extremely loud environment), you should be using your devices.
  • Do I have some rights I should be aware of? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s good to familiarize yourself with your rights before you travel. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you must have access to information. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer a solution.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential to have a good mindset and treat your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.

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

Of course, the other side to that is that preparation can go a long way. With the correct preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a catastrophe.

Getting a hearing exam and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the start of that preparation for individuals with hearing loss. And that’s accurate whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or taking it easy on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Still have some questions or 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.

Medical information dates as new research comes out all the time - if you have a concern about your hearing, please call us.

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