Latest posts by Robert Weissman, Au.D., B.C.A., CCC-A (see all)
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Going on holiday as a hearing aid user can present some unique challenges, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing time. Whether you’re on a road trip or jetting to the opposite side of the world, hearing aids have never been so convenient and powerful, which makes travelling with them even easier than before. However, you should still take some steps to prepare for your trip. Here is some advice for travelling with hearing aids.
Contact the hotel you’re thinking of staying at and ask if they have anything that will help make your stay more comfortable. The majority of hotels can accommodate you in a few ways. They may offer flashing door bells or telephone notifications, meaning you won’t miss essential announcements and wake-up calls even if you are sleeping without your hearing aids.
Many public buildings including museums, cinemas and concert halls provide assistive technology for patrons via hearing loops. Call for further details and be sure that you will actually be able to enjoy the activities you are planning to do. When booking reservations online for events and attractions, sign up for confirmations and notifications by e-mail or text. In doing so it will be easier to plan out your days and you’ll be notified of delays or cancellations in advance.
Make sure your hearing aids are well-maintained before you leave. You may need a new hearing test and make adjustments to your hearing aids if it has been a while since you last saw your audiologist.
Pack plenty batteries and take extra, just in case. Battery replacements might be difficult to find at your destination.
If you’re using a rechargeable hearing aid, you will enjoy more convenience when abroad, but don’t overlook the adapter if you are going overseas. Some countries have different voltages to the US, which could pose an issue if you only have a 110V power supply. If travelling to these countries, confirm that your charger is able to handle a 220V plug socket. If not, you might have to buy a separate charger or rely on battery power for the length of your trip.
During security screenings at the Airport, it’s a good idea to put all batteries and chargers into a single bag so they can be scanned together more quickly.
Think about buying a dehumidifying unit if you decide to travel to a tropical country. Dehumidifying your hearing aid overnight make sure your hearing aid remains free of moisture in even the most humid of places.
Survive the airport
Airports may be daunting for those with hearing loss, but you should be able to manage them relatively easily with a little planning.
Fortunately, recent changes to laws have meant that you may keep your hearing aids on while passing through body scanners at the security check. If you are holidaying within the US, the TSA provide cards on their website which inform their officers and other airport staff of your hearing loss. This could make it easier for you to receive accommodations to make your time at the airport go much more smoothly.
Some airports also have hearing loops that you can connect to with your own hearing aids. This helps you receive announcements more easily, ensuring you don’t miss that last-minute gate change!
In addition to your departure airport, a lot of public tourist attractions in western countries now support hearing loops, so ask around if you are unsure.
Ensure that you communicate your needs to family members or relatives if you are staying with them at their home. And keep your hearing aids stored securely while you are sleeping, so children and animals are tempted to play with them.
Do you want to make sure your hearing aids are in optimal condition before your trip? Visit us at Dr Hear and we can clean and adjust your devices to make sure they won’t let you down. Contact us today to make an appointment.