And just like that, the holidays are in full swing! With Halloween over and done with, it’s now time to prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Like most Americans, this time of year is highly anticipated, as the holiday season allows us to see family and friends!
If you’re planning to take a bus, car, train, or plane to see your family members, and you’re living with hearing loss, let us help you get there with ease. In this blog, we’re going to provide holiday traveling tips for individuals who suffer from hearing impairments of varying degrees. These may seem like no-brainers, but sometimes we forget how easy it is to utilize tools for assistance with hearing!
First, did you know more than 20 million people in the United States have some level of hearing loss (Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery)? It’s true, and unfortunately, hearing loss can make normal, day-to-day activities seemingly impossible. When it comes to holiday travel, it’s likely you’ll run into some of the following issues:
- Inability to hear instructions from workers within the travel industry
- Difficulty hearing airline, bus, or train boarding instructions and announcements
- Trouble hearing hotel room, public, or personal cellphones for travel arrangements
- Difficulty hearing or interpreting warning and safety signals during holiday travel
- Lack of accommodations for hearing dogs and other service animals
These problems can result in even more problems, making your holiday travel increasingly difficult. Fortunately, there are simple solutions that can help you out of these often intense situations. In short, accommodations can be made! First and foremost, it’s imperative you make all of your holiday travel arrangements well in advance to limit confusion. Print extra copies of your travel documents and make sure you notify the ticket representative at your first and final destination that you’re hearing impaired.
If you can have someone accompany you on your trip, this may reduce several holiday travel mishaps. Nevertheless, having a travel companion isn’t necessary to make it to your final destination, as there are many tools you can use for hearing assistance. The day before your trip, make sure you have all of your travel documents packed but easily assessable in case you need them to ask questions to make it to your final destination on time.
Another important tip? Arrive early to your transportation hub to ensure a smooth travel day. It’s possible for your flight or bus to get delayed or change gates, so it’s crucial you arrive at your transportation hub early to prepare for any wrench that may get thrown into your plans. Speaking of delays and gate changes, always, always, always, keep your eye on the display boards! They will be your visual guide to navigating the complexities of travel!
Lastly, if you’re having any trouble at all, don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are a number of audio/visual tools available to the public for individuals who have hearing and visual impairments. Don’t be embarrassed – these tools are specially designed to help you in a pinch, and they’re the desired alternative to missing your flight, bus, or train.
If your hearing is becoming increasingly troublesome, call AOC Physicians today! Our team can help outfit you with hearing aids that are not only discreet but comfortable. Call one of our five locations today to schedule an appointment!
Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today!
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.