The holidays are coming up soon, and large family get-togethers and meals in crowded restaurants can be particularly challenging for people with hearing loss. Not only do several people often talk at once in these settings, but they also raise their voices to be heard over one another.
Combine that with the clanging of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a scenario in which it is challenging for people with hearing loss to have a good time. 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.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
It is essential that you talk about your hearing loss with your family before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you cope with the background noise. They can then explain it to their children and other family members, so everyone will know, for example, to try and look at you when they are talking. It might seem like an awkward conversation to have, but it makes the meal much more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively participate.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
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 near the middle. You won’t have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Make sure you speak up and tell your family if there is a spot at the table that’s best for you.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Having hearing loss makes it difficult to filter out background noise and focus on speech which makes it an especially challenging problem. If you are at a family get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low volume. If you are in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as you can and away from loud spots, like close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clattering of pots and pans.
Look at New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful solutions 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 Try to Bluff Your Way Through
Your loved ones won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t tell them. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your family will be happy to help out.