The holidays are coming up soon, and large family get-togethers and meals in crowded restaurants can prove especially difficult for people with hearing loss. Not only do several people tend to talk at once in these settings, but they also elevate their voices to be heard over each other.
It becomes even harder for individuals who have 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 tough time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
It is essential that you talk about your hearing loss with your family members before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you deal with the background noise. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating smoother like looking at you when they talk. It may seem like an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively engage.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
Family tradition might stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table at big meals, but those places make it more difficult for you to hear conversations. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Be certain you speak up and let your family know if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Having hearing loss makes it difficult to filter out background noise and focus on speech which makes it a particularly challenging problem. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least reduce 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 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 using 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 tell them. Hearing loss should never prevent 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.