Globetrotting With Hearing Loss: Tips and Tricks For Traveling With Hearing Aids

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The summertime traveling season is upon us! When school lets out for summer vacation, many of us pack our bags and get ready for some fun in the sun. Before we get to our vacation, however, we often have to deal with the hassle of traveling, which can ruin a trip before it gets started if you’re not prepared.

Traveling gets even more complicated when you wear hearing aids. Although hearing aids are designed to make our lives easier and better, when we’re traveling, they’re just one more thing that can go wrong. Instead of leaving your hearing aids at home, though, you’d be better off learning the dos and don’ts of traveling with hearing aids.

Whether you’re traveling by air, land, or sea, here are some go-to tips for caring for and using your hearing aids during your upcoming travel:

Do:

  • Bring your hearing aids with you. While it might seem simpler to just leave the hearing aids at home, doing so will make communication much more difficult, especially in a noisy, foreign place. The last thing you want is to miss your flight because you didn’t realize that the last boarding call announcement was for you!
  • Travel with extra batteries. Even though it might be easy to find batteries at your local pharmacy or grocery store, it can be surprisingly difficult to locate hearing aid batteries in some parts of the world. Especially if you’re traveling internationally or for more than just the weekend, be sure to pack an ample supply of extra batteries.
  • Carry a hearing aid drying kit. If you like to travel to remote locales or just love to spend time on the beach and near the pool, you’ll want to make sure you always have a drying kit for your hearing aids. Even a short dip in the pool or a day in the rain can destroy hearing aids if they’re not immediately dried out, so don’t risk it and bring a drying kit on your travels.
  • Wear your devices through security checkpoints. Even though your hearing aids probably contain some metal, they’re considered medical devices, so you shouldn’t have to remove them to get through security. Our recommendation? Wear your hearing aids through the checkpoint and hopefully, all is well. If there are any issues, explain that your hearing aids are a medical necessity, but you can take them off for a brief moment if absolutely necessary.
  • Download your hearing aid manual or bring a hard copy with you. This is especially important if you’re traveling to a remote location. When you’re out traveling, you don’t want to get stuck with a malfunctioning hearing aid. Instead, download your hearing aid manual to your phone, laptop, or tablet before you leave or bring a hard copy with you. This will give you many of the tools you need to troubleshoot your devices in the event of an emergency.

Don’t:

  • Don’t turn your hearing aids off when on a plane. If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ve probably heard the pre-take-off announcement telling you to turn off larger electronic devices and switch smaller ones into airplane mode. Luckily for you, the FAA exempts devices like hearing aids from this requirement because they don’t transmit signals that could interfere with an airplane’s technology or air traffic control. So, keep your hearing aids on, even if you’re told to turn off your electronic devices.
  • Don’t forget to bring your hearing aid accessories and cleaning tools. All cleaning cloths, brushes, wax guards, carry cases, and other accessories that you use at home will be useful to you when you travel, so don’t leave them off your packing list!
  • Don’t be shy about your hearing loss. If you’re having difficulty understanding announcements, let a flight attendant, bus driver, or other travel-related staff know. If they know you need extra assistance, they can be sure to alert you when it’s your train stop, or they can come to your seat to relay an important announcement.
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