ENT Specialists of Alaska

ENT Specialists of Alaska

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

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

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? 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 exhausted than you left.

The other kind is all about unwinding. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you’re getting pampered at some resort for your entire vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.

There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whichever method you choose, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no idea they have it. The volume on all their devices just continues going up and up.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be lessened with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. The first step, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to diminish any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. And while some of them might seem a bit trivial at first, they tend to add up! Here are some common instances:

  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.
  • Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing out of whack.
  • Language barriers become even more challenging: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But understanding voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really loud, makes it much harder.
  • Special moments with friends and relatives can be missed: Everyone enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be lessened and minimized. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and stress free is to take care of your hearing needs before you start.

How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and fairly stress-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice regardless of how good your hearing is.

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

  • Pre-planning is a smart idea: When you have to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.
  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries died. Remember to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? Well, maybe, check with your airline. You might be required to put your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.
  • Clean your hearing aids: Before you leave on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good plan to make certain your recommended maintenance is current!

Hearing aid travel tips

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Before you head out to the airport, there are a few things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.

  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help people who have hearing aids hear their environment better.
  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than usual? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, taking a shower, or swimming (or in a super loud environment), you should be using your devices.
  • Do I need to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor style X-ray devices generate.
  • 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. That said, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. Some of the in-flight announcements may be hard to hear so be certain that you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
  • Should I be aware of my rights? Before you leave it’s never a bad plan to get familiar with your rights. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it amounts to this: information must be available to you. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you feel like you’re missing some info and they should be able to help.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? Your smartphone is really useful, not shockingly. You can use your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You might be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone in this way.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a good mindset.

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. With the correct preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a disaster.

For people with hearing loss, this preparation often begins by getting your hearing evaluated and making certain you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s the case whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or hanging out on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have questions? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!

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.

Questions? Talk To Us.