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

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you cram every single activity you can into every waking moment. This kind will leave you more exhausted than when you left but all of the adventures will be recalled for years to come.

The other kind is all about relaxing. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you take.

Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss

There are some distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no idea they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv up and up and up.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. Scheduling a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The more ready you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to diminish any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be negatively impacted by hearing loss? Well, there are a couple 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 instances:

  • Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. And as a result, your whole vacation schedule is thrown into absolute disarray.
  • Special experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Everybody enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
  • Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: Managing a language barrier is already difficult enough. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to decipher voices (particularly in a noisy situation).
  • The radiant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted also. After all, you could miss out on the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot special and memorable.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative effects can be mitigated and minimized. So, taking care of your hearing requirements is the best way to keep your vacation on track.

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

All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. Not by any Means! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively hassle-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how strong your hearing is.

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

  • 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!
  • Do a little pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some 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 introduce more difficulties).
  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries quit. Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. So are you allowed to bring spare batteries on a plane? Well, maybe, consult your airline. You might be required 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, well, the airways, maybe. Before you go out to the airport, there are a number of things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely be aware of.

  • Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? You won’t need to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be hard to hear so make sure you let the flight attendants know about your hearing loss.
  • Do I need 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. It’s generally a good idea to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. If there is any kind 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 style X-ray devices produce.
  • If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you use your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or swimming (or in a super loud setting), you should be using your devices.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you leave it’s never a bad idea 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. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer help.
  • Will my smartphone be useful? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is really useful! After you land, you can utilize this device to adjust 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 stress off your ears.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That will depend, some airports are very 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.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Vacations are hard to predict with or without hearing loss. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. That’s why it’s important to have a good mindset and treat your vacation like you’re embracing the unanticipated.

That way, when something unforeseen happens (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!

Of course, 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 awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.

For those who have hearing loss, this preparation frequently begins by having your hearing evaluated and making sure you have the hardware and care you need. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.

Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!

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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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