The holidays are coming up soon, and large family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can be particularly tough for people with hearing loss. Not only do several people often talk at once in these situations, but they also elevate their voices to be heard over each other.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a scenario in which it is challenging for individuals with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. There are a number of ways you can make these noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a hard time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Before Get-Togethers, Have a Discussion With Your Family
It is crucial that you discuss your hearing loss with your family before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you cope with the background noise. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating easier like facing you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
Family tradition might stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those spots make it harder for you to hear conversations. If you are in the middle of the table, you probably won’t have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a spot at the table you know is best for you, don’t hesitate to tell your family your preference.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Having hearing loss makes it difficult to filter out background noise and focus on conversation which makes it an especially challenging issue. If you are at a family gathering, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. At restaurants, ask to be seated away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
If you don’t already have them, think about investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by turning away from it with these technologies.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t inform them. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your family. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your loved ones will be happy to give you a hand.