Hearing loss can pose some unique challenges when traveling. Whether you’re taking a road trip across the country or flying out of Portland International Airport, keep these tips in mind when traveling this summer and beyond.
Bring Your Hearing Aids and Accessories
If you use hearing aids, don’t forget to bring them and any necessary accessories. These can be batteries, chargers and cleaning kits. Consider bringing a drying box as well to safely store your device at night and remove any excess moisture that builds up throughout your travels.
Protect Your Ears When You Fly
Flying can expose your ears to noise levels over 85 dB, which may increase your risk of noise-induced hearing loss. You can help prevent this by:
- Using earplugs or noise-canceling headphones while flying (just remember to keep the headphones at a reasonable volume!)
- Selecting an aisle seat towards the front of the plane. These tend to be quieter than seats closer to the engine.
If you experience clogged ears or ear pain when you fly, that can also interfere with your hearing. To prevent that, consider:
- Using special earplugs made for flying that help reduce pressure in your ear
- Chew gum, yawn or suck on candy to help open up your Eustachian tubes
- Taking a decongestant 30 minutes before takeoff. Studies have shown that oral pseudoephedrine may reduce ear pain in adults during flights.
Reduce Noise When You Travel
Wind and road noise can be distracting when traveling by car. Hearing aids can be programmed to help reduce background noise. Additionally, you can make sure to roll up the windows, keep the volume on the radio low or turned off and ask fellow passengers to speak quietly while you drive.
If you have Bluetooth™ enabled hearing aids you may find it helpful to stream GPS instructions directly into your device when you travel.
Communicate Your Hearing Needs to Others
If you are traveling by plane or train, you may need to let attendants or the passenger next to you know that you have difficulty hearing so that you catch any important announcements. Even with hearing aids, it can be easy to miss certain things with all the other noise that comes with travel.
If you have additional questions about traveling with hearing loss or wish to schedule an appointment, contact PDX ENT today.