Vacationing With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Enjoyable 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 the whole time. This type will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the fun will be remembered for years to come.

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

There’s no best to vacation. Whatever method you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, especially if you don’t know you have it. Many people who have hearing loss don’t even recognize they have it and it eventually sneaks 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 lessened with some proven 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 effect that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly diminished the more ready you are ahead of time.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely effected by hearing loss? Well, there are a number of ways. By themselves, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to compound it can become a real issue. Here are some common examples:

  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted too. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • You miss significant notices: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute disarray.
  • Language barriers are even more difficult: Dealing with a language barrier is already hard enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really loud, makes it much harder.
  • You can miss significant moments with family and friends: Perhaps your friend just told a hilarious joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.

Of course, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be mitigated and minimized. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to manage your hearing needs before you start.

How to prepare for your vacation when you have hearing loss

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s nowhere near true! But it does mean that, when you’re dealing with hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is definitely good travel advice.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are a number of things you can do:

  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries died. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? Well, maybe, check with your airline. Some kinds of batteries need to be stored in your carry-on.
  • Pre-planning is a good idea: When you need to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be overly spontaneous and prepare as much as you can.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have troubles on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good idea.

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 number of things about flying with hearing aids you should certainly be aware of.

  • Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. That said, 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.
  • If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be used every day, all day. So you should be using your hearing aids anytime you’re not in a really noisy place, swimming, or showering.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That will depend, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will usually be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specifically made to help people who have hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
  • Will my smartphone be useful? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is really helpful! Once you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the correct kind of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. 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 be required to remove my hearing aids? You won’t need to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. It’s generally a good plan to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices generate.
  • Do I have some rights I need to know about? Before you travel it’s never a bad plan to become familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you have to have access to information. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you think you’re missing some info and they should be able to help.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Vacations are unpredictable with or without hearing loss. At times, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unexpected and try to have a good attitude.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable obstacle happens.

Of course, the flip 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 turn into a catastrophe.

Getting a hearing examination and making certain you have the right equipment is usually the beginning of that preparation for individuals who have hearing loss. And that’s true 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).

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Call us 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.