Traveling can be stressful in general, but may be even more stressful for someone with hearing loss. Here are some tips and tricks for traveling with hearing loss.
- Plan Ahead
Find out which activities are accessible or can be modified for accessibility. Also plan ahead for what may happen at the airport, such as TSA regulations.
- Have a Plan for Medical Devices
If you have medical devices like hearing aids, it’s a good idea to pack batteries and/or back up hearing aids. Especially in foreign countries, you may not be able to find the correct batteries needed. Also, it may be a good idea to locate a audiologist that your insurance covers wherever you are traveling, just in case of an emergency. If you do have hearing aids, wear them through security (the security belt may damage some hearing aids) and make sure to let TSA know.
- Prevent “airplane ear”
You might “airplane ear”, or that feeling of fullness or ears needing to be “popped” when on a plane that’s climbing after takeoff or descending for landing. This may be prevented by chewing gum or taking a decongestant.
- Noise Reduction
If you are traveling by car, road noise and wind from the windows may be distraction. Some hearing aids can be set to limit background noise. It may also be helpful to turn off the hearing aid (talk to a doctor about this first) closest to the window so that you can still hear sirens and emergency vehicles. Always use your mirrors and scan your environment while driving.
- Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed!