Latest posts by Robert Weissman, Au.D., B.C.A., CCC-A (see all)
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When driving, we all want to do our best ensure that everyone in the vehicle arrives at our destination safety. If you have hearing loss and wear hearing aids to help you with your everyday life, driving safety is more than just following the rules of traffic and reading highway signs. Some changes may be needed to guarantee that you and everyone else on the highway remain secure and reduce accidents. With that, we offer some tips on how to drive while wearing hearing aids.
Take time to know your new hearing aids
Try keeping it simple when driving when you first receive your hearing aids. Take your time to get familiar with all the sounds you will be hearing again. It can take some time to get used to all these new sounds while you are driving. Honking horns, the buzz of the engine and the clicking of the indicators can all catch you unawares. This is why you probably don’t want to use them on on your drive home from the hearing practice.
It is best to begin slowly and easily on the first drive with hearing aids. Sit in a quiet area and make sure your hearing aids are set to an acceptable level. Start by driving on a road with little traffic. Easier roads like these will help you get used to your hearing aids more quickly.
Make sure your car is working well
You may not be able to hear unusual rumbles, clicks or whirring when you drive as a person who has a hearing loss. These sounds could indicate the need for repairs in your car. The sounds may harm your vehicle in the long-term or put you at risk, if overlooked. It is a good idea if you plan on riding long distances to ask a trusted mechanic to take a good look at your car.
Adjust your car to suit your body
Consider the effect that driving long distances can have on your body. Adjust your seats and mirrors to minimize the threat of aggravating any physical problems. You can also substitute mirrors for bigger mirrors in your vehicle. Ask your garage if they can install power steering or specialized breaking equipment to assist with the braking and operation of the pedals in your vehicle. This could enhance the comfort of your driving experience and make you less prone to injuries.
Make your car a quiet zone
People suffering from hearing loss understand all too well that hearing in noise is more challenging than hearing when it is quiet. Make sure that your vehicle is as quiet as possible in order to help you focus better on operating the vehicle. Turn off the radio and don’t use your cell phone while driving. Your favourite songs can block traffic sounds and slow the time it takes for you to react when on the road.
If you have company, try to reduce discussions and ask them not to speak to you unless it is absolutely needed. Driving is difficult enough, especially with hearing loss. If you concentrate too much on the discussion you will not notice the sounds around you as much.
By removing noise from these two sources, you stand the best possible chance of being able to hear all the important sounds to keep you safe.
Treat Your Hearing Loss
While wearing hearing aids, it is still essential that you take regular hearing tests. The most essential way to remain safe when driving is to be able to hear everything. Make sure your hearing is checked annually to ensure your device correctly meets your requirements for driving and other aspects of your life.
Have you been struggling with hearing loss? Are you concerned your hearing abilities are affecting your everyday activities? Treating hearing loss brings significant benefits to your health and safety.
At Dr. Hear, we provide a full range of hearing health services, from hearing tests to hearing aid fittings. Talk to us today to set up an appointment.