Hearing loss is a widespread challenge for older people, but does it require giving up driving? The response isn’t clear-cut, as driving habits vary among individuals.
While hearing loss is a component to think about when operating a vehicle, a skilled driver is still proficient even if they need to adjust the radio volume.
For individuals who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss presents a threat while driving is an important consideration. Is your hearing loss making you a dangerous driver?
Think beyond driving…
If you are noticing hearing loss, it won’t have a huge impact on your driving ability…yet. That day is coming, though, if you decide to simply ignore your decline.
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports there is a distinct connection between hearing and brain health. Battling to hear forces the brain to use valuable resources just to understand what individuals are saying. It has a negative impact on cognition and can play a role in the onset of dementia. Someone suffering from dementia definitely can’t drive.
If you have hearing loss, can you still drive?
Driving demands strong observational skills and some of that is auditory, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drive if you have hearing loss. The Center for Hearing and Communication estimates about 48 million Americans have significant hearing loss, and a good portion of them still drive.
Tips for driving if you have hearing loss
You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and use these tips.
Quit putting off
Visit us, have your hearing tested, and consider how hearing aids can change things for you. Hearing aids can help eliminate the “should I be driving with hearing loss” question.
When you drive, be more aware
You will still need to be aware of what’s happening around your vehicle even if you have hearing aids.
Keep the noise down inside your car
This will help you be less distracted. Ask your passengers to chat more quietly and keep the radio down or off.
Keep an eye on your dash lights
When you drive with hearing loss, the little things can mount up. You may not be capable of hearing that clicking noise that your turn signal makes, for instance. You will have to depend on your eyes to compensate, so get used to scanning your dashboard to see what your car is trying to tell you.
Keep your vehicle well maintained
Maybe your car is making a strange noise in the engine but you can’t hear it. That is a significant safety risk, so make a point of getting your car serviced regularly. For individuals with hearing loss, this is important, even more so than it would be for someone who doesn’t have hearing loss.
Watch the other cars closely
This is a no-brainer for everybody but if you have hearing loss it’s even more poignant. If you see other cars pulling to the side of the road, you should do that also because you might have missed the sirens. watch to see how other drivers are responding to their surroundings to get clues on what you may not be hearing.
Can you drive with hearing loss? That’s up to you. Your other senses will normally adjust to help keep you safe, which means it is feasible to drive safely even if your hearing is beginning to go. But if you’re feeling worried about it, make an appointment to come see if we can help you better your situation, possibly with hearing aids.
Contact us right away to schedule your hearing test and look into hearing aid options for your unique lifestyle.