Currently viewing Vol. 5 • Issue 2 • 2018

Essential Travel Advice for Clients

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The Way I Hear It

Gael Hannan (The Way I Hear It) is a hard of hearing advocate that understands both sides of the fence between the consumer and the hearing health care professional. Gael’s columns are humorous, sometimes cutting, but always constructive and to the point.

The Hearing Husband will get antsy if we’re in one place for too long. With too much togetherness we decide we need to “see the family,” hit the open road and climb a few hills.

With all the packing and unpacking and packing again, you’d think I have the “To Take” list down pat. I try, but with every trip something important gets left behind. Usually it’s just “oh shoot, I forgot to bring my grey running shoes.”

But if you’re a HoH – someone with hearing loss – and the left-behind item is essential to communication, you’re likely break out in a sweat, yell OMG, and start tearing through every bag.

Recently, while visiting family in California, I realized I didn’t have the right wax guards for one of my hearing aids. I know from experience if I try to use an incompatible wax guard, it can fall out, adhere to my ear drum and require professional extraction. Been there, done that, never again thank you. Or, I could just go without the wax guard for a while and hope that not too much ka-ka works its way in to cause damage. Also, been there, done that, no way thanks.

I phoned several clinics and when I found one that carried my brand, I was almost crying with gratitude and relief as I picked them up – a bit embarrassing in front of strangers.

So now I’ve got a hearing travel checklist that, before leaving on any trip, will be triple-checked. You know, like your passport – you never stop fingering it until you’ve made it through customs without being arrested.

This is what I’m taking:

Hearing Aids (2)
I always take a backup hearing aid when I travel. Actually, I wear each of these hearing aids for different reasons, so both are essential.

Cochlear Implant
Sound processor
Extra hair clip
Remote Assistant
Phone clip
MiniMic2 (an all-purpose must have – for example, the Hearing Husband can talk into this while we’re hiking and I don’t have crane my neck to read his lips, thus perhaps falling off the trail cliff.)
Connector cable (for iPhone and iPad and computer)
Chargers for the above…. Very important – things simply don’t work if they’re not charged. No amount of yelling will change this.
Other bits of cord that I can never figure out what they do, but don’t want to leave them behind just in case.

Batteries (many, many packages)
Size 312 for one hearing aid
Size 13 for the other
Size 675 for the sound processor

Connects me to everything! Along with the CI’s remote assistant, an app allows me to use the MiniMic to listen to my phone and iPad.

This allows me to listen via telecoil on both my hearing aid and cochlear implant.

Information booklets for my cochlear implant
The internet has all the info I need, but you just feel better having the paper copy, you know? Power outages.

Secret storage place
For websites, passwords, technology serial numbers, and other important stuff if I need to contact any of the manufacturers.

Cleaning supplies
For all hearing aids and sound processors.

Drying aids
One electric for the cochlear implant and a more portable, non-electric one perfect for hearing aids.

And so, the HoH hits the road again, well-armed with all the necessary technical doo-dads. If you know your clients are planning a trip, you might want to share the agonizing experiences of people with hearing loss who have gone before them.

Source: This article appears in a slightly different form from its original at

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About the author

Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan is a hearing health advocate, author and speaker with profound hearing loss. She is proudly bimodal. Her second book, Hear & Beyond: How To Live Skillfully With Hearing Loss, written with Shari Eberts, is due out in May 2022.