Latest posts by Dr. Jason Leyendecker (see all)
- Getting Your Hearing Checked - January 22, 2020
- Talking about Hearing Loss: Why Your Disclosure Method Matters - December 27, 2019
- All About Tinnitus - December 19, 2019
Challenges When Travelling with Hearing Aids
For those with hearing loss, traveling can be exasperating. You’ll most likely be surrounded by others and need to communicate more often than you’re accustomed to. If travelling often or far from home, there can also be many things go wrong that will impact the ability to communicate with others when you need it most. Getting lost in an unfamiliar place or just needing to know where the nearest ATM is can prove difficult if you don’t have your means of communication intact. However, as long as you are properly prepared, you won’t have to worry and will be happy you took the time to execute a plan.
The first step to planning ahead is contacting the hotel you’ll be staying out in order to find out what accommodations they are able to make for those who have hearing loss. Some accommodations they can make include:
- wireless headphones
- video text decoders
- light alarms
- light doorbells
Check Your Ticket and Alert the Staff
If flying, it is key that you check your seat in advance before boarding the plane. Those with hearing loss are not permitted to sit by exits as this can disrupt emergency evacuation plans. Moreover, if you are travelling by train or on a ship without a companion aware of your hearing loss, it is imperative to let staff members know so that they can help you board and exit at your planned destination. This is a major step when travelling with hearing loss as there won’t be any visual way of knowing when it is time to depart.
Make a Checklist
Not only is it important to make a checklist, but making a special checklist just for your hearing needs can help ensure that you don’t leave anything out. Double check to make sure you’ve packed everything necessary!
Some checklist suggestions include:
- Rechargeable Batteries
- Carrying Case
- >Additional Assistive Listening Devices
- Pen or Pencil
The notepad and pen are perhaps the best item on the checklist because they are the best in last resort scenarios.
In addition to your checklist, it’s a good idea to bring supplemental equipment. It’s better to have packed extra than not enough! Packing extra batteries will make sure that you will have some on hand when and if you need to change the batteries. It’s also a good idea to pack several in different bags just in case your luggage gets lost or stolen. Having a carry on will be the ideal place to stash your items if you aren’t able to pack extra items in different bags because it can’t be lost by means of the public carrier. If you can, packing an entire additional hearing aid is a good move to make just in case your main device gets broken or decides to give out.
Advantages of Taking an FM System
As written on the suggested checklist, having additional assistive listening devices can be extremely helpful. In particular, taking an FM system while traveling has many conveniences such as providing better sound quality in noisy environments and allowing you to hear better from a distance. Having such a device could also help with listening fatigue and leave you better rested for the journey; in turn, this allows you to focus on the things that matter. Not to mention, if you’re going somewhere new, you’ll want to be even more rested as you will be in an unfamiliar environment that could pose different dangers and risks.
Know Your Devices
If you decide to take extra assistive listening devices, it could be a potential struggle to learn how to use them while you are travelling. Learning how to use and maintain these devices ahead of time will allow you to easily use them in a pinch if necessary. Moreover, if your hearing aids are fairly new to you, you may either want to spend extra time getting to know them or postpone getting the hearing aids until you return.