The holidays are coming up soon, and big family get-togethers and meals 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 raise their voices to be heard over one another.
It becomes even harder for individuals with hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. There are a number of 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 use a hearing aid.
Before Gatherings, Have a Discussion With Your Family
Before everyone gathers, it’s crucial 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 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 awkward.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
Family tradition may dictate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those places make it harder for you to hear conversations. If you are in the middle of the table, you probably won’t have to strain as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a place at the table you know is best for you, don’t be shy about telling your family your preference.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Background noise poses a considerable challenge for people with hearing loss because it is hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on speech. If you are at a family get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low 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. 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
The only way your family will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you let them know. Hearing loss should never prevent you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your loved ones will be glad to help out.