June is National Safety Month. If You have Hearing Loss, here are 10 Hearing Tips to Help Keep You Safe.
June is National Safety Month with the National Safety Council. If you experience hearing loss, being aware of your surroundings is part of staying safe.
Did you know that the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. are due to accidents?
This month brings awareness to the causes of preventable injuries so that everyone can take proper precautions.
What would happen if you couldn’t hear someone trying to get your attention? What if you couldn’t hear someone honking their car’s horn or an emergency alarm?
Treating your hearing loss is the first crucial step to help make you more aware of your surroundings. If you are a hearing aid user, follow these 10 tips to help keep you and your family safe, even if you aren’t wearing your hearing aids.
1. Get special alarms for people with hearing loss.
Alarms for people with healthy hearing usually make a loud noise - alarm clocks, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, etc. If you have difficulty hearing, some alarms feature flashing lights or vibrations (a vibrating bed) in addition to noise.
If you can’t hear someone knocking at your door or ringing your doorbell, consider getting motion detectors that feature flashing lights.
If you have a smartphone, you can choose an app that alerts you during these occasions by vibrating your phone.
2. Make sure friends and family know about your hearing loss.
Some people don’t feel comfortable sharing their hearing problems with others. It’s important to realize that today, there is significantly less stigma around hearing loss. If your friends and family don’t know about it - they are usually the first to detect it - inform them. They can let you know if there is danger so that you can get to a safe area. Otherwise, they will assume that you can also hear these dangers and won’t think to help you.
3. Bring a friend or family member when you leave your house.
Whenever possible, invite someone who doesn’t struggle with hearing. If that isn’t possible, ask others to face you when they speak or use a captioning app to pick up what was said so you can read and understand what they said in real-time.
4. Undistracted driving
Since it’s harder to hear, focusing on driving and your surroundings is better without distractions. That includes turning off music, radio, and podcasts or asking your passengers to remain quiet during moments that require your full attention. If you need to change your route, pull over to use your smartphone or GPS.
Before you go on your drive, talk to your hearing instrument specialist immediately if you notice any problems with your hearing aids.
5. Adjust your hearing aids or visual aids before driving.
If your hearing worsens, be sure your hearing aids get an adjustment. You can make these adjustments or with your hearing instrument specialist’s help. You’ll also need to rely on visual cues, so if you wear eyeglasses and contact lenses, go and visit your optometrist. If you can’t hear sirens or have trouble figuring out which direction they’re coming from, you’ll need to rely on your vision. That applies to pedestrians, especially children, who may wander into the streets.
6. Get a service pet.
If you’re open to keeping a pet, service animals are not just helpful for the visually impaired, those with epilepsy, or other health concerns. They can also help someone with hearing problems. You can be alerted about potential danger by a service dog. These animals can signal if there is someone at your door.
7. Make a plan.
If there’s an emergency, have a strategy and discuss it with others that you trust. If there’s a hurricane or tornado, and you plan to go to your basement, let your family, friends, or neighbors know where to find you. If there’s a fire, arrange a pre-determined area to meet outside.
If something goes wrong, your family and emergency staff members can help as quickly as possible.
8. Introduce yourself to neighbors and get to know each other.
Many people don’t know their neighbors. This disassociation can heighten risks for people who can and cannot hear. Find ways to familiarize yourself with your neighbors. Let them know about your hearing loss. Verify that your neighbors know about any suspicious activities to be aware of. Some day you might need each other’s help.
9. Keep up with your vehicle inspections and maintenance.
If your hearing isn’t great, you may not hear unusual noises from your vehicle. The engine may sound strange, or your vehicle’s brakes might squeak or screech too loudly. That could signal serious issues with your vehicle. Just like with hearing loss, ignoring these signs can lead to long-term problems. Get a trusted expert’s opinion.
10. Get a hearing test and appropriate treatment.
The most important thing you can do is get a hearing test conducted annually. Don’t wait for your hearing to get so bad that the loss is severe. Early detection and early treatment are important to the health of your hearing. If you need hearing aids, don’t just buy them. You need to break into hearing aids like a new pair of shoes or jeans. They won’t be comfortable at first, but eventually, you won’t even realize you’re wearing them. Wear them every day, from the moment you wake up to the time you get ready for bed. They should only be removed during the day if you are going into a body of water or taking a bath/shower.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids, talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists from Pure Sound Hearing about options that would work for you. Find out if we take your insurance.