When you get your new hearing aids, you might have the impulse to carefully insert them and to drive home right away, enjoying the new sonic environment they provide. Although the time will come, this first moment after your fitting is not the best time to try out hearing aids on the road. Driving is an experience in which the slightest surprise or confusion could have serious consequences. Rather than risk an unsafe drive, it is important to give yourself ample time to adjust to your hearing aids before diving into a highway drive. The following tips are important considerations before you attempt to drive with hearing aids. Keeping these things in mind should set you up for success on the road!
Take Time for Adjustment
When you get your new hearing aids, the first place to try them out will be at home in the security and familiarity of your quiet house. When you insert your aids in this setting, you will likely become aware of a wide range of sounds you hadn’t noticed were there. That shift in your awareness can lead to serious surprises on the road, so you might understand now why it is wise to adjust to your new aids off the road. The next step will be to try out your hearing aids in public. Only once you have acclimated at home, try out your hearing aids at the grocery store or another public place where you can experience a minimum of conversation. Again, take note of the new sounds that you hadn’t noticed before and learn to accept them.
Next, you might want to try out your hearing aids at a social gathering or another place where you are having lots of conversations. These might be the most beneficial contexts for hearing aids, particularly when they help you reduce background noise while amplifying the voice of a speaker. Once you’ve tried out your hearing aids in these other contexts, you are ready to take them on the road.
Prepare for Safe Driving
On your first drive with hearing aids, make sure you are set up for a safe journey with full awareness. Rather than driving with children or pets, try your first drive alone or with a trusted companion who will understand that it is important not to distract you. Turn the radio off at first to adjust to the louder sound of the road. You will likely want to start on a slow and easy road rather than the highway. After adjusting to this drive, you can prepare yourself for other contexts that might include traffic, construction, or emergency vehicle sirens. These sounds can be quite jarring with hearing aids, so try to keep your cool while you drive.
Check Your Driving Capability
In addition to these considerations about your drive with hearing aids, make sure you are in good shape for safe driving, more generally. Your vision is the most important sense for driving, so make sure your prescription is up to date. Some people develop night blindness, so take caution driving in the dark if you know this to be an issue for you. Beware of any medication that might be giving you an unsafe drive, and a conversation with your doctor or pharmacist is a good idea.
If you notice any issues with your reaction time or awareness, these could be signs of something more worrisome in your health or medical condition. Beyond these pointers, make sure that your body is ready to respond to any surprises or dangers. Even something as simple as a sore neck or a bulky scarf could pose a challenge to checking your blind spot or remaining aware of each vehicle on the road.
With these tips in mind, you should have no problem wearing your hearing aids on the road. They can be very helpful when you need to remain aware of potential dangers or threats, and once you’re used to them they can even help you have a long, thoughtful conversation with a friend on a road trip. If you don’t yet have hearing aids, make an appointment right away for a hearing test. After these tips are set in motion, you will find that hearing aids assist your safe driving!