Traveling with Hearing Aids4 min read
If you are among the millions of Americans with hearing loss, you probably know all too well how stressful traveling can be. Not hearing when your flight is called, losing your hearings aids in an unknown area, or even forgetting to pack the right supplies are all common fears people with hearing loss face. However, just because you have hearing loss doesn’t mean traveling has to be a burden. Navigating the unknown can be tough, but following this short guide can make traveling with your hearing aids both a safe and comfortable experience.
Hearing Aid Checklist
Before you leave for any trip, the first—and possibly the most important—step is to prepare a complete checklist of all the items you will need while you’re away. Your checklist should include the following:
- Carrying case
- A cleaning brush
- Extra batteries (or a charger if your batteries are rechargeable)
Remember, a hearing aid battery can last anywhere between one week to a month, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Packing a dri-aid kit, which reduces moisture, will help the hearing aid function properly during your travels. If your hearing aid is not waterproof, an umbrella or hat can also help protect the hearing aid, especially during moist weather. For safe and secure storing, keep the following three tips in mind:
- Make sure you store your hearing aids and batteries in a waterproof bag if you are vacationing near water.
- Keep your hearing aids on-hand in a carry-on bag, instead of in a check-in bag that could be lost.
- Remember to keep your hearing aids clean by wiping them down every night, as traveling in highly populated spaces can easily accumulate bacteria.
Whether you’re traveling by land or by air, here are a few tips to help keep both you and your hearing aids safe and secure.
On the Road
Different preparations are needed for different methods of travel. If you’re traveling by bus or by train, you should make sure you know exactly when and where your stop is, as it may be hard to rely on auditory signals alone. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be tricky. If you’re unsure about where your stop is, alert an attendant or a fellow traveler to let them know about your situation.
Up in the Air
If you’re flying to your destination, begin your preparation by signing up for email or text alerts for flights. Going through airport security can be a hassle, but luckily your hearing aids won’t need to be removed. However, assistive listening devices (ALD) will need to go through x-ray screening.
When you’re on the plane, let the airline crew know you are hearing impaired so they can assist you. Also, sitting closer to the front will make it easier for you to hear flight crew instructions. Before, the TSA required all electronic devices to be turned off during takeoff and landing, but new changes allow electronic devices (hearing aids included) to be left on. Remember that unlike other electronic devices, your hearing aids are allowed to remain on during flights.
At the Beach
Keeping your hearing aids clean is always important, but it’s even more important when you’re at the beach. Sand and water are two of the biggest threats to your hearing aid, which is why you need to make sure your hearing aids are properly covered at all times. If you’re planning on taking your hearing aids to the beach, make sure they’re protected by storing them in waterproof containers.
Review Your Insurance Coverage
Remember to review the insurance coverage of your hearing aid before traveling. You may also want to consider purchasing travel insurance in the event that your hearing aid is lost or stolen, which in turn can help alleviate some of the stress you may have about traveling beforehand.
Traveling with hearing aids can be challenging, which is why adequate preparation before your trip is so important. Remember to pack properly and research in advance where you’ll be staying. Make travel an adventure instead of a hassle through proper planning and preparation.
Guest Author: Kendra Bergstrom
Kendra Bergstrom is an employee of Amplifon, parent company to Miracle-Ear. Before going to Amplifon, Kendra worked in a sales office supplying products to hearing care professionals. Her experience has given her a broad range of experience from various perspectives within the hearing aid industry.
Photo from Wikipedia.