How to Protect Your Hearing Aids During Travel
With summertime on the horizon, a lot of people are making plans to travel abroad to unravel and have some fun. For those wearing hearing aids, however, travel brings with itself a few complications as these expensive and delicate devices can be tough to handle. Fortunately, just as you would plan everything for a trip abroad, you can plan for hearing aids too and ensure that your vacations go hassle free.
Inform a security officer about your hearing aids
Hearing aids and their accessories contain some metal parts that could possibly get the metal detectors buzzing. To avoid this from happening, you can let a security officer know beforehand about your disability and the technology you are using to cope with it. In addition, you can, if need be, also specify what form of communication you would prefer during the screening process. This can be done using the TSA’s Notification Card. As per airport rules, those with hearing issues are permitted to wear hearing aids throughout the screening process.
Identify hearing-friendly locations in advance
If you're traveling within or to the United States, there are a number of locations that offer hearing-friendly lodgings that you can benefit from. For instance, MTA Subways in New York City feature hearing loops, which are systems that transfer sound to hearing aids. Other places within the NYC that also offer the same hearing loop technology include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Jacob Burns Film Center.
Take care of your ears during travel
Airplanes, trains and other modes of transportation are quite loud, and can prove to be damaging to the ears. For example, a jet engine from a distance of 100 meters can reach noise levels up to 140 dB, which, on its own, is loud enough to cause hearing loss. Therefore, to prevent this noise-induced hearing loss, wear earplugs or earmuffs while you travel. Also, take small timely breaks from areas that are too loud. Our ears normally need a break to recover if they experience any form of damage.
Wear your hearing aids at airports and metro stations
It's a no-brainer that popular tourist destinations are bound to be highly crowded during the peak seasons. Therefore, remember to wear your hearing aids in loud places so that you can hear your travel partners over other people. Important announcements regarding delays or rerouting are announced over the loudspeaker, so it is important to wear your hearing aids while you're at the airport or train station (especially at locations where there are no special services for people suffering from hearing loss). Sometimes, travel agencies also offer hearing friendly services and you can check for these by logging on to your agency's website.
Traveling with hearing aids can feel complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking a few precautions and planning ahead of time, you can assure your travel with hearing devices is smooth and hearing friendly!