Hearing problems leave many Brits feeling nervous about travelling to unfamiliar places, according to new research. Read these top 10 tips to help ensure you’re able to travel with confidence whatever level of impairment you have.
Problems hearing in crowds or locations with intrusive background noise mean around 30% of those who suffer from some level of hearing loss will shun holidays to ‘noisy’ destinations, research by Amplifon has found
The same percentage of travellers with hearing issues admitted their hearing problems make them feel anxious when they go on holiday or travel somewhere new.
Despite the impact of hearing problems on their lives and holidays, a quarter revealed they waited at least five years before seeking professional help. More than one in ten (13%) suffered in silence for longer than 10 years.
According to charity Action On Hearing Loss, there are thought to be 6.7 million people in the UK who would benefit from a hearing aid but do not currently have one.
Hearing loss can affect people in different ways but early signs include muffling of speech and other sounds, difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd of people, and trouble hearing consonants.
For those about to book a city break, New York, Madrid and Tokyo were revealed to be among the noisiest cities around the globe.
10 tips to make travelling less stressful
Hearing loss doesn’t need to put you off travel and these tips can help make your travelling experience even more rewarding…
1. Never feel uncomfortable about telling people you have hearing loss. Being open will make everyone feel more relaxed and be able to make allowances.
2. Tell your travel agent you are hearing impaired – they can ensure airlines, hotels, and attractions make arrangements.
3. Hearing aid users should always carry spare batteries when travelling just in case they are not available at your travel destination.
4. If you are dependent on hearing aids, you should have travel with a spare devices in case one is lost or damaged.
5. Avoid flying with a head cold as this is not only likely to make your hearing worse but cabin pressure changes can cause considerable discomfort. If flying with a head cold is unavoidable, use a nasal decongestant and swallow frequently if you feel any pressure in your ears.
6. When travelling by plane, train or coach reserve your seating in a way that ensures background noise is less of a problem. If you have one ear worse than the other, choose an aisle seat so that your better ear is next to any travelling companion.
7. Ask your airline in advance if it provides subtitles for its inflight movies. If not, bring your own movies on a tablet or mobile phone.
8. If travelling abroad to a hot and/or humid country and you use hearing aids, take a dehumidifier kit with you to use at night to keep your hearing aids protected from the effects of perspiration and air humidity.
9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from fellow travellers – most are more than willing to offer assistance.
10. If you’re worried about your hearing, make sure you visit a specialist before you travel.
Apps to help with hearing loss while travelling
Use these mobile phone apps to help with hearing difficulties while travelling – or testing to see if you have an impairment before you leave.
Hearing test: Do you need help with hearing
Does it seem as though everyone’s mumbling, are you forever asking phone callers to repeat themselves and are family members making comments about your hearing? It’s a fact that 1 in 6 adults in the UK suffer from some form of hearing loss and this app can quickly determine if you are one of them. It’ll tell you if a full hearing test would be beneficial. Simply listen to a narrator over background noises and the app will assess your level of hearing loss.
How much: Free
Get more information here
AUD-1: Hearing aid in your phone
This app is designed to ‘intelligently’ control sound in the environment close to the user. The system uses headphones connected to a mobile phone with the app loaded. It allows for sound fed to each ear to be adjusted independently. It also includes stereo technology to preserve spatial awareness for the user. The app allows ‘fine grain’ control over the dynamic range of sound that is processed and delivered in real time. A useful app for anyone who needs a little extra help with hearing but hasn’t yet been prescribed a standalone device.
How much: £4.99
Get more information here
Tap Tap: Alert to sounds
This app helps those with impaired hearing respond to audio in their environment. It’ll let users know if the phone is ringing, room bell being pushed or if an alarm is sounding. Sensitivity can be adjusted to suit noisier or quieter background sound levels.
How much: £2.29
Get more information here
Live Caption: Subtitles as people speak
Need help understanding the waiter at your favourite poolside restaurant? Download this app, and they can speak directly into your phone and Live Caption transcribes in real time. To begin captioning, simply press the microphone button on the keyboard, speak normally and text results will appear. It also works with most Bluetooth devices such as headsets and in-ear microphones. Live, streaming captions as people speak into your device.
How much: £3.31
Get more information