Senior man with hearing loss getting ready to go out with his best friend, a Standard Poodle service dog.

For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. It can also come with some hazards.

What happens if a smoke detector is going off or somebody is shouting out your name but you can’t hear them? Car noises can signal hazards ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.

But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to worry about. The first thing that somebody with untreated hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing test. For those with hearing aids, we have a few recommendations to help you and your family stay safe, even when you aren’t likely to be using your hearing aids.

1. Don’t go out by yourself

If you can, bring somebody with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so that they are easier to hear.

2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving

It’s important to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and stay away from your GPS and phone. If you suspect you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.

Don’t feel ashamed if you have to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. Safety first!

3. Think about getting a service animal

You think of service dogs as helpful for individuals with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other conditions. But if you have auditory issues, they can also be very helpful. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. When someone is at your door they can let you know.

Not only can they help with these challenges, but they also make a wonderful companion.

4. Make a plan

Before an emergency comes about, prepare a plan. Talk it over it with others. If you plan to move into the basement during a tornado, make sure your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.

This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to go wrong.

5. Pay extra attention to visual cues while driving

Your hearing loss has most likely worsened over time. You might need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t regularly get your hearing aids calibrated. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are nearby.

6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble

It may be hard to admit, but it’s important that people in your life know about your hearing problems. You may need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you may have missed. If they don’t know that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.

7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle

As a person living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These sounds could indicate a mechanical problem with your vehicle. If dismissed, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you at risk. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.

8. Have your hearing loss treated

This is the most imperative thing you can do to stay safe. Get your hearing assessed yearly to determine when your hearing loss is significant enough to require an assistive device. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all aspects of your life.

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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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