The holidays are coming up soon, and big family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can be especially tough for people with hearing loss. Everybody is speaking loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even more difficult for people with hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, dishes clattering, and chairs scraping. There are a few ways you can make these loud gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a hard time hearing out of one or both ears or if you wear a hearing aid.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
Before everybody gets together, it’s important that you help your family make adjustments by talking about your hearing impairment with them. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating smoother like looking at you when they talk. It will make the meal much more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
In some cases, it’s tradition to sit at a particular place at the table, but the best place to sit if you want to have an easier time hearing conversation isn’t at the head or near the end of the table, it’s near the middle. You won’t have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. If there is a spot at the table you know is best for you, don’t be shy about telling your loved ones your preference.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise poses a considerable problem for individuals with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on speech. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least decrease the volume. 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 purchasing directional microphones or an FM system. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by facing away from it and amplifying the voices you want to hear to make out a conversation.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
The only way your family will know if you’re struggling through a meal is if you inform them. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your family. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your loved ones will be glad to give you a hand.