Tips for Driving with Hearing Aids

As we get older, there are certain physical challenges we all have to deal with. Our reaction time slows down, it’s harder to turn your head and move your body, and your depth perception changes. If you are aware of the changes and you compensate, you shouldn’t have any problems driving. That goes for driving with hearing aids, too. Be aware of any medications you might be taking that could interfere with your reaction times and, remember to get a hearing test and vision test each year. The hearing specialists at Pacific Hearing Care are ready to help you stay on the path of good hearing health. Call for a hearing evaluation today.

Here are some things to remember to keep in mind to maintain your safe driving record!

Vision and hearing tests important

You should be getting your vision and your hearing tested regularly. Vision issues, such as cataracts, can sneak up on you. You may not even be aware you are compensating for vision or hearing problems and that’s why regular evaluations are so important. Make sure your glasses or contact lens prescriptions are updated regularly. If bright sunlight and glare bother you, try polarized sunglasses and anti-reflective lenses.

If you have trouble adjusting to driving in the dark, stop driving at night. Posture is important to making sure you have an adequate sightline of the road ahead. Make sure you are sitting upright with your back supported. Sitting with correct posture will help you visualize at least 10 feet in front of you. 

Proper vision and using hearing aids to treat hearing loss are important when driving because you want to be concentrating on the road and anything that might become a hazard – not what you are trying to hear or trying to see. 

Your hearing and driving

Healthy hearing is a big part of safe driving. Turn down your radio or turn it off if it distracts you. If conversation in the car is also distracting, keep it at a minimum, too. If you are using GPS, make sure your destination is programmed in before you start driving and make sure the sound is at an acceptable level.

Be vigilant in looking for road hazards and for the flashing lights of emergency vehicles if you have difficulty hearing sirens. At Pacific Hearing Care we understand hearing issues are an emotional issue and we provide you with friendly and caring service. In the same way you correct your vision, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make sure your hearing loss is also treated! Make sure to maintain your hearing aids, because feedback can be a major distraction while driving. Hearing aid adjustment is one of the services we offer!

Watch your reaction time

As we age, we start to slow down and this holds true for reaction time as well. Research indicates seniors with slower reaction times over compensate by braking too early and this, too, can cause a traffic problem. Pay attention to the distance between you and the car in front of you and the stop sign or light coming up. Remember, you need to concentrate a little more now because things that used to be second nature take a little more effort. Train yourself to pay more attention to distances.
If heavy traffic makes you nervous, wait until traffic dies down before heading out.

Adjust for your physical changes

If stiffness and pain trouble you and get in the way of driving safely, consult your doctor. Help yourself out, too, by making sure you drive a car with the correct side mirrors as well as vehicle with power steering and power brakes. Exercise will also help with stiffness as well as keeping your reflexes in order.

Visit Us at Pacific Hearing Care

Some people are still stuck on that stereotype that “hearing aids make you look old.” However, hearing aids are used to treat hearing loss in people of all ages, and they empower people to stay active in their lives, whether it’s socializing or participating in an activity they love. Hearing aids are important for driving, as they ensure that we are catching all of the sounds of the road. Better hearing – which starts with treating your hearing loss – will help keep you mentally and physically active. Call Pacific Hearing today and schedule your exam.