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Senior man with hearing loss getting ready to go out with his best friend, a Standard Poodle service dog.

For you and the people in your life, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. It can also come with some dangers.

What happens if a fire alarm is going off or someone is shouting out your name but you can’t hear them? Car sounds can indicate hazards ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.

Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. If you have neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you need to do. For individuals who use hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your loved ones remain safe, even when you’re not likely to be using your hearing aids.

1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house

If you can, take someone with you who isn’t dealing with hearing loss. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so they are easier to hear.

2. Stay focused when you drive

It’s important to stay focused while driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and avoid your GPS and phone. If you think you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.

If there are circumstances while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. It’s better to err on the side of caution!

3. Think about getting a service animal

For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service animal seems obvious. But if you’re dealing with auditory challenges, they can also be very helpful. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. When someone is at your door they can inform you.

They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also excellent companions.

4. Make a plan

Know what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Discuss it with others. If you’re planning to move into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.

This way, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act rapidly to assist you.

5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual clues

Your hearing loss has probably gotten worse over time. You may need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely have your hearing aids tuned. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. When children or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra vigilant.

6. Share your limitations with friends and family

It may be difficult to admit, but it’s important that people in your life are aware of your hearing loss. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you may have missed. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.

7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle

As a person living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These can signal a serious problem. Your car could take significant damage and your safety could be in danger if these noises aren’t dealt with. It’s a good idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you bring it in for an oil change or inspection.

8. Treat your hearing loss

If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is crucial. Have your hearing checked yearly to determine when your hearing loss is significant enough to require an assistive device. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in all aspects of your life.

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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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