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

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

There are two types of vacations, right? One type is full of activities at all times. These are the vacations that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more worn out than you left.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or maybe you spend your entire vacation at some sort of resort, getting spoiled the entire time. These are the peaceful and relaxing kinds of vacations.

There’s no best to vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on whichever kind of vacation you take.

Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, particularly if you don’t know you have it. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no clue they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their tv up and up and up.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. The first move, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The effect that hearing loss has on your good times will be greatly reduced the more prepared you are ahead of time.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. Individually, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to compound it can become a real problem. Some common illustrations include the following:

  • You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation spot is alive with unique sounds, like active street sounds or singing birds.
  • You miss significant notices: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
  • You can miss important moments with family and friends: Everyone enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Language barriers become even more difficult: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But neglected hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (particularly in a noisy setting).

Some of these negative situations can be averted by simply using your hearing aids. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track 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

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s nowhere near the case! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and relatively stress-free. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how good your hearing is.

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:

  • Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is no fun! Always make sure you bring spares! 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 kind of battery.
  • Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good plan to make certain your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good plan to make certain your suggested maintenance is up to date!
  • Pre-planning is a smart idea: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more challenges).

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

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

  • Is it ok to use my hearing aids longer than usual? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, taking a shower, or swimming (or in a really noisy environment), you should be using your devices.
  • How helpful is my smartphone? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is extremely helpful! You can utilize your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right kind of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good plan to enable flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. 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 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, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices create.
  • Will I be able to hear well in the airport? That depends, some airports are quite 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 individuals who have hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you travel it’s not a bad plan to get familiar with your rights. Under the American Disabilities Act, individuals with hearing loss have lots of special rights. But basically, it amounts to this: information has to be available to you. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you think you’re missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go right all the time. That’s why it’s essential that you have a positive mindset and treat your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.

That way, when something unforeseen occurs (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 make a difference. When something goes amiss, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from spiraling out of control.

For individuals with hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by getting your hearing tested and making sure you have the equipment and care you require. 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).

Still have some questions or concerns? 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.

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