Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

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

For you and the people you love, living with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. Sometimes, it can even be hazardous.

What if you can’t hear a fire alarm or somebody yelling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that may be signaling an impending threat.

Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you should do. For people who use hearing aids, we have a few recommendations to help you and your family remain safe, even when you aren’t likely to be using your hearing aids.

1. Don’t go out alone

If possible, take someone with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If you need to go out by yourself, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.

2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving

It’s important to stay focused while driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS when you’re driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you have to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!

3. Consider a service animal

You think of service dogs as helpful for those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be really helpful to individuals with auditory challenges. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. They can inform you when somebody is at your door.

Not only can they assist you with these problems, but they also make a terrific companion.

4. Have a plan

Determine what you’ll do before an emergency happens. Talk it over it with others. If you’re planning to go into the basement during a tornado, be sure your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, plan a designated location that you’ll be outside the house.

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

5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual cues

Your hearing loss has likely worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself relying more on your eyes. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. When children or pedestrians are around, be extra vigilant.

6. Share your hearing trouble with family and friends

It may be tough to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life know about your hearing loss. You may need to get to safety and people around you will be able to warn you about something you may have missed. If they’re not aware that you can’t hear, they will think that you hear it too.

7. Keep your car well-maintained

Your car might start making strange sounds that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These can signal a serious problem. If disregarded, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you in danger. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.

8. Address your hearing loss

If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is essential. Have your hearing assessed annually to identify when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t delay because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay 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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