The holidays are coming up soon, and large family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove especially tough for people with hearing loss. Everyone is speaking loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for people who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, dishes clattering, and chairs scraping. If you have difficulty hearing from one or both ears, or you wear a hearing aid, there are a few steps you can take to make these big, noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
Before everybody gets together, it’s important that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing impairment with them. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating smoother like facing you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit difficult.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a particular place at the table, but the best spot 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 in the middle. If you are in the middle of the table, you likely won’t have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a place at the table you know is best for you, don’t hesitate to tell your loved ones your preference.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise can be a significant problem for individuals 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 background level. At restaurants, ask to be seated away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful options if you don’t already have them. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it using these technologies.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
The only way your loved ones will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you inform them. Hearing loss should never prevent you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your family. Your loved ones will be happy to help you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.