The holidays are upon us, and big family gatherings and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove especially tough for people with hearing loss. Not only do multiple people often talk at the same time in these situations, but they also elevate their voices to be heard over one another.
It becomes even more difficult for people with hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, dishes clattering, and chairs scraping. If you have a hard time hearing from one or both ears, or you use a hearing aid, there are several 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 essential that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing loss with them. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating simpler like facing you when they talk. It might seem like an uncomfortable discussion to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively engage.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
Family tradition may stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those spots make it more difficult for you to make out conversations. 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 place at the table that’s best for you.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Background noise poses a significant problem for individuals with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and concentrate on spoken words. If you are at a family gathering, 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
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 turning away from it using these technologies.
Attempting to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your loved ones won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t let them know. A family get-together is a time for celebration, and your hearing impairment should never stop you from getting in on the fun. Your family members will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.