You Can Still Enjoy the Holiday Season in Spite of Hearing Loss

Family enjoying Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner together around the dining table at grandmother's home.

Gatherings. More, and more family gatherings.

It probably feels like you’re meeting or reuniting with every relative you have, every weekend, during the holidays. The holiday season can be fun (and also challenging) for this reason. Normally, it’s easy to look forward to this yearly catching up. You get to check in on everyone and see what they’re up to!

But when you’re dealing with hearing loss, those family get-togethers might seem a little less welcoming. What’s the reason for this? What are the impacts of hearing loss at family get-togethers?

Your ability to communicate with others can be greatly effected by hearing loss, and also the ability of other people to communicate with you. The end result can be a discouraging feeling of alienation, and it’s an especially distressing sensation when it occurs around the holidays. Your holiday season can be more fulfilling and pleasant when you employ a few go-to tips formulated by hearing specialists.

Tips to help you enjoy the holiday season

There’s lots to see during the holidays, lights, food, gifts, and more. But there’s also a lot to hear: how your nephew is doing in school, how your cousin’s pond hockey team is doing, and on, and on.

These tips are developed to help make sure you keep having all of those moments of reconnection during the course of holiday gatherings.

Use video chat instead of phone calls

For friends and family, Zoom video calls can be a fantastic way to keep in touch. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, this is particularly true. If you have hearing loss and you want to connect with loved ones during the holidays, try using video calls instead of standard phone calls.

When it comes to communicating with hearing loss, phones represent a particular obstacle. It can be very difficult to hear the garbled sounding voice at the other end, and that makes what should be an enjoyable phone call vexing indeed. You won’t get clearer audio quality from a video call, but you will at least have visual clues to help figure out what’s being said. From body language to facial expressions, video calls supply added context, and that will help the conversation flow better.

Tell people the truth

Hearing loss is incredibly common. It’s crucial to tell people if you need help. There’s no harm in asking for:

  • People to slow down a bit when speaking with you.
  • People to paraphrase and repeat what they said.
  • Conversations to occur in quieter areas of the get-together (more on this in a bit).

People won’t be as likely to become annoyed when you ask them to repeat themselves if they know that you have hearing loss. As a result, communication has a tendency to flow a bit easier.

Find some quiet areas for conversing

Throughout the holidays, there are always subjects of conversation you want to avoid. So you’re cautious not to say anything that might offend people, but instead, wait for them to bring up any sensitive subject matter. In a similar way, you should try to cautiously pick spaces that are quieter for conversations.

deal with it like this:

  • For this reason, keep your conversations in areas that are well-lit. Contextual clues, such as body language and facial expressions, can get lost in dimly lit spaces.
  • There will be quieter spots in the home where you have conversations. Possibly that means moving away from the noisy television or excusing yourself from locations of overlapping conversations.
  • When you choose a place to sit, try to put a wall against your back. That way, there’ll be less background interference for you to have to deal with.
  • You’re looking for areas with less commotion. This’ll make it easier to concentrate on the lips of the individuals talking to you (and help you lip read as a result).

So what if you’re in the noisy kitchen, filling up your mug of hot chocolate, and your niece starts talking to you? There are a couple of things you can do in cases like these:

  • If there’s music playing in the area, politely ask the host to turn the music down so you can hear your niece a little better.
  • Politely begin walking to an area of the gathering place where you can hear and focus better. And remember to let her know this is what you’re doing.
  • Ask your niece to continue the conversation someplace where it’s a bit quieter.

Speak to the flight crew

So, you’re thinking: what are the impacts of hearing loss at family gatherings that are less apparent? You know, the ones you may not see coming?

Lots of people fly around during the holidays, it’s especially essential for families that are fairly spread out. It’s important that you can understand all of the instructions coming from the flight crew when you fly. Which is why it’s extra essential to tell the flight crew that you have difficulty hearing or have hearing loss. That way, the flight crew can provide you with visual instructions if needed. It’s crucial that you don’t miss anything when flying!

Take breaks

When you are dealing with hearing loss, communicating can be a lot of effort. You will often find yourself fatigued more frequently than you used to. So taking regular breaks is important. By doing this, your ears and your brain can get a rest.

Invest in some hearing aids

How does hearing loss affect relationships? Hearing loss has a considerable impact on relationships.

One of the greatest benefits of hearing aids is that they will make almost every interaction with your family through the holidays easier and more rewarding. And no more asking people what they said.

In other words, hearing aids will help you reconnect with your family.

Bear in mind that it might take you a bit of time to become accustomed to your hearing aids. So you shouldn’t wait until just before the holidays to get them. Everybody will have a different experience. So talk to us about the timing.

You can get help navigating the holidays

It can seem like you’re alone sometimes, and that no one can relate to what you’re dealing with when you have hearing loss. In this way, it’s almost like hearing loss impacts your personality. But there’s help. You can navigate many of the challenges with our help.

The holidays don’t have to be a time of worry or nervousness (that is, any more than they typically are). At this time of year, you can look forward to seeing, and hearing your family and friends. All you need is the right approach.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.