Hearing loss can make it more difficult to pick up important sounds when driving. You might miss sounds like:
- Another car honking their horn
- Sirens from emergency vehicles or law enforcement
- Your turn signal being left on as you coast down Interstate 44
- Sounds indicating something is wrong with your vehicle
This can cause people with hearing loss to drive less and put them at a greater safety risk when they do drive. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to safely drive with hearing loss.
#1 Get Your Hearing Checked
If you’re concerned that your hearing loss is affecting your ability to drive, make an appointment with an audiologist.
Whether you need a hearing screening or an audiological assessment, testing methods are fast and provide same-day test results that allow your audiologist to make a quick diagnosis. They can determine the severity of your hearing loss and come up with a treatment plan that is right for you.
#2 Wear Your Hearing Aids
If you have hearing loss you will most likely be prescribed hearing aids. Hearing aids can amplify the sounds you need to hear while on the road and reduce mental fatigue.
Untreated hearing loss makes your brain have to work harder to perceive sounds. Over time, this can become exhausting and negatively affect concentration.
#3 Lower the Volume
Even with hearing aids, you’ll want to take extra steps to maximize your hearing ability. Avoid listening to music or podcasts at a loud volume when you’re behind the wheel. If you have passengers, ask them to speak quietly.
Additionally, it’s helpful to keep your windows closed to reduce any outside noise from other cars or road construction.
#4 Keep Your Attention on the Road
Distracted driving is unsafe regardless of your hearing capacity. Keep your eyes (and ears) on the road the entire time and avoid activities like looking at your phone or trying to eat your lunch while driving.
#5 Find Other Ways of Getting Around
If you are still struggling to hear when you drive, despite using hearing aids and minimizing distractions, it is best to rely on other forms of transportation. Whether that means taking the bus, using rideshare options or asking your spouse or neighbor to drive when you need to run errands, your safety and the safety of others is the most important thing.
If you have more questions or would like to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact Hearing Care by Hough today.