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

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? One type is Packed with 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 exhausted than you left.

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

There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whichever way you choose, however, untreated hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, particularly if you don’t know you have it. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no clue they have it. On all their devices, the volume just keeps going up and up.

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

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? Well, there are a number of ways. And while some of them might seem a little trivial at first, they tend to add up! 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 could be muted also. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Meaningful experiences with friends and relatives can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everybody enjoyed, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Important notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you never hear the announcement. And as a result, your entire vacation schedule is thrown into absolute disarray.
  • Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s difficult enough to overcome a language barrier. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really noisy, makes it much harder.

A number of these negative outcomes can be avoided by simply using your hearing aids. Which means the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and stress free is to take care of your hearing needs before you go.

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

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. That’s nowhere near true! But with a bit of extra planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively stress-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is clearly practical travel advice.

Here are several things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:

  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries went dead. Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some types of batteries must be kept in your carry-on.
  • Pre-planning is a good plan: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as possible.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you leave on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. This can help prevent issues from happening while you’re on your vacation. It’s also a good plan to make sure your recommended maintenance is up to date!

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

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

  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? You won’t be required to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids don’t go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can create a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on which airport it is and what time of day. But a telecoil device will usually be set up 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 noisy and chaotic.
  • Do I have some rights I should know about? Before you travel it’s never a bad plan to get familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have many rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you must have access to information. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer a solution.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely useful! After you land, you can use this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right 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.
  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. That said, you might want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You may also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements during the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • 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 super loud environment), you should be using your devices.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

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

That way you’ll still feel as if your plans are on track even when the unavoidable obstacle arises.

Of course, the flip side to that is that preparation can make a difference. When something goes wrong, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from getting out of control.

Having a hearing test and making certain you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for people with hearing loss. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.

Still have some questions or concerns? Give us a call 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.