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

There are a couple of kinds of vacations, right? One type is full of activities the whole time. These are the vacations that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more tired 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 perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your whole vacation. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everybody has their own idea of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you choose.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, particularly 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. The volume on all their devices just continues going up and up.

But the impact that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. Making an appointment for a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The impact that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are in advance.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. Individually, they might 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 can miss out on the radiance of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted also. After all, you could fail to hear the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
  • Meaningful experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a hilarious joke that everybody enjoyed, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
  • Getting past language barriers can be frustrating: It’s hard enough to deal with a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even harder to understand voices (particularly in a noisy setting).
  • Important notices come in but you often 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 into chaos.

Some of these negative situations can be averted by simply using your hearing aids. 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 go.

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

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. That’s not at all the case! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively hassle-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously practical travel advice.

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

  • Pre-planning is a smart idea: It’s okay to be spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more difficulties).
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you go out on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help avoid problems from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart plan.
  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries quit. Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, check with your airline. You might need to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the type of battery.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

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

  • How useful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is very useful, not shockingly. You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You may be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to use your phone like this.
  • Do I have to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can keep your hearing aids in when you go through the security screening process. That being said, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids don’t go through that 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 wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, taking a shower, or going for a swim (or in a really noisy environment), you should be wearing your devices.
  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That will depend, some airports are very noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally 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 loud and chaotic.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t need to turn your hearing aids off. 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 tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • Do I have some rights I need to know about? It’s a good idea! In general, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you go. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But essentially, it comes down to this: information has to be available to you. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you feel like you’re missing some information and they will most likely be able to help.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a good attitude.

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

But you will be surprised less if you put together good preparations. With the correct preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a disaster.

For individuals who have hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing tested and making certain you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s the case whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around 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? 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.