Flying is a stressful experience for everybody – but it can be especially anxiety-inducing for people with hearing loss. Between knowing what to pack, getting through security and the flight itself, it can be overwhelming to figure out the best approach. Below are some tips for flying for people with hearing loss.
Before Your Trip
It’s difficult to balance packing enough to be ready for your trip and light enough to not cost extra money or cause difficulty carrying your luggage. While many things can be purchased at an airport kiosk or at a convenience store near your destination, your hearing aids and accessories may be more difficult to find or live without. Make sure that when you pack your suitcase, you include:
- Extra batteries (for standard hearing aid models)
- Charger (for rechargeable models)
- Converter (for international travel)
- Cleaning kit
- Accessories (e.g. mic, t-coil, carrying case)
- Hearing protection
Do not pack these essentials in your check bagged; it is all too common for bags to get lost, and having access to these accessories can make or break your trip. Instead, put them in your carry-on or personal bag to keep them handy at all times.
In the Airport
For many, navigating an airport is the most stressful part of the trip. Background noise from other travelers and the sounds of planes at take-off and landing can make it extra difficult to listen for alerts about your flight.
If the airport noise gets overwhelming, you can turn down your hearing aids. Download the smartphone app for your airline so you get alerts sent directly to your phone rather than having to listen to updates over the intercom.
Make sure you get to the airport at least two hours early in order to minimize stress about making your flight.
While you do not have to take out your hearing aids to go through security, it is a good idea to let the TSA agent know you are wearing them before walking through the scanner.
Once on your flight, inform the flight attendant about your hearing loss so they can relay messages to you personally and you don’t have to listen for announcements over the speaker.
If you want to take out your hearing aids, do not store them in the seat pocket. It is far too easy for them to be forgotten or broken.
Chew gum and stay awake during take-off and landing in order to prevent pressure in the ears. For more travel tips or to talk to an expert audiologist, schedule an appointment with Hampton Roads ENT today.