Hearing Associates of Libertyville, IL

Older man behind the wheel of his car excited to drive since he solved his hearing loss.

Hearing loss is a common challenge for older individuals, but does it warrant quitting driving? Driving habits vary amongst different individuals so the response isn’t straightforward.

While hearing loss is a factor to consider when operating a vehicle, a seasoned driver remains capable even if they need to lower the volume on the radio.

For people who commute on a regular basis the question of whether hearing loss poses a threat while driving is a significant consideration. Is your hearing loss making you a hazardous driver?

Think beyond driving…

Early stage hearing loss most likely won’t negatively impact your driving, but if it goes untreated, driving will become progressively more unsafe.

Johns Hopkins Medicine has found there is a definite link between hearing and brain health. Battling to hear forces your brain to use valuable resources just to understand what individuals are saying. It has a detrimental impact on cognition and can contribute to the onset of dementia. An individual suffering from dementia certainly can’t drive.

Should you drive with hearing loss?

You can still drive with hearing loss, but it should be mentioned that safe driving requires strong observational skills including auditory awareness. Among the approximately 48 million Americans who have hearing loss, most of them still drive according to the Center for Hearing Communication.

Guidelines for driving if you have hearing loss

You can still be a safe driver if you make some adjustments and use these tips.

Quit procrastinating

Come in to see us for a hearing exam and find out if hearing aids will help your condition. The question of whether you should be driving can be removed by using hearing aids.

Be a more observant driver

You will still need to be aware of what’s going on around your vehicle even if you use hearing aids.

Don’t let it get too loud in your car

This will help you be less distracted. Turn the radio off and ask your passengers to keep the chit-chat to a minimum.

Remember to check your dashboard frequently

When you drive with hearing loss, the little things can add up. For example, you will no longer hear that clicking sound that tells you that your turn signal is on. So regularly check your dashboard because your eyes will need to pick up the slack.

Keep your vehicle well maintained

You may not hear that rattling noise under the hood now or the warning bell alerting you to an issue with your engine or another critical component. Have your car serviced regularly so you can avoid this significant safety risk. For individuals with hearing loss, this is crucial, even more so than it would be for somebody who doesn’t have hearing loss.

Watch the other cars closely

This is a no-brainer for everyone but if you have hearing loss it’s even more poignant. You might not hear emergency sirens, for example, so if the cars are pulling off to the side, you should too. Look to see how other drivers are reacting to their surroundings to get clues on what you may not be hearing.

So is it possible to safely drive with hearing loss? It’s really a personal decision. Your other senses will usually adjust to help keep you safe, which means it is possible to drive safely even if your hearing is beginning to go. But if you’re feeling concerned about it, make an appointment to come see if we can help you better your situation, possibly by using hearing aids.

Come in and let us help you better your quality of life by looking at the hearing solutions that will be appropriate for your distinctive hearing situation.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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