Planning a trip is exciting, but when you have a hearing loss it can feel as if there are extra hurdles to jump.
While there are few more logistics, you shouldn’t let it dissuade you from going. Most countries will have hearing aid clinics where you may be able to seek assistance, and there are some things you can do before you go on holidays to “be prepared”.
Planning your trip
•Map out the nearest hearing aid clinics before you leave, so you know where to turn in an emergency
•Check your contents insurance policy and list hearing aids separately as an item that you take out of the house, in case you lose it while you’re away.
•If you are not already covered, take out separate travel insurance. Specify your condition and list any hearing devices, in case they’re lost, stolen or broken while you’re away.
•Contact your airline and hotels to alert them of your hearing loss and any specific needs.
•When you’re booking your seat on a plane, make sure you’re not sitting in an exit row, due to safety regulations.
What to do if you have hearing aids
•Pop into your Hearing Centre to have your hearing aid checked before you leave.
•Take enough batteries for the entire trip (get some from your Australian Hearing centre).
•Pack all your hearing aid cleaning tools.
•Take the hearing aid box or a dedicated container for safe storage when you’re not wearing the device.
•If any of your old hearing aids are working, pack them as spares.
What to do if you have a cochlear implant
•Take your identification card or letter from your audiologist confirming the implant to show customs and security officials.
•If you’re on a telecoil or loop program you may hear a buzz or hum when walking through security. Consider turning off your telecoil for this.
•If you’re carrying a loan processor, check that it’s off and safely in your carry-on luggage. Don’t put it directly on the conveyor belt as static electricity may build up and corrupt the MAP.
•Your implant can’t interfere with the plane’s navigation or communication system. There’s no need to turn it off during take-off or landing. You need to hear staff as they give you the safety briefing.
Maintaining hearing devices isn’t difficult wherever you are, but you need to be organised. If you do have an emergency with your hearing, there are more than 165 Australian Hearing centres across the country available to assist with hearing aid repairs and batteries. If you’re travelling abroad, hearing aid clinics with a qualified audiologist may be able to help.