If you have a hearing impairment, traveling for business or pleasure can present communication and navigation challenges. But with some mindful adjustments, travel can be a pleasure. Here, experts offer a few general tips, as well as specific issues to consider when driving, taking a train or flying with hearing loss.
Equipment. If you use hearing aids, pack plenty of batteries, chargers and ear protection. If you’re traveling to a humid climate, consider a dehumidifier for your hearing aids, too.
Attitude. During the journey, act as your own advocate: “Tell people you have hearing loss because it’s something they don’t see so they won’t know,” advises Ohio-based audiologist Eryn Staats. “Ask them ... to speak slowly and distinctly and to repeat themselves if need be.”
Pandemic Considerations. With masks still required on planes and trains, it can be challenging to understand those around you, even with hearing aids. Your devices may have a setting for noisy environments that can boost mask-muffled speech, says Hope Lanter, a lead audiologist at Hear.com. Some newer hearing aids may even offer a specialized "mask mode." Bottom line? "It's important to make sure you're being very assertive," she says, like asking someone to speak loudly if needed.