For people who have hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be challenging. Everybody 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, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. There are a number of ways you can make these loud gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a difficult time hearing out of one or both ears or if you wear a hearing aid.
Before Gatherings, Have a Talk With Your Family
Before everybody gets together, it’s crucial 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 simpler like facing you when they talk. It may seem like an awkward discussion to have, but it makes the meal much more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively participate.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
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. 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 considerable challenge for individuals with hearing loss because it’s 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 volume. At restaurants, try to sit 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. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by facing away from it and amplifying the voices you need to hear to make out a conversation.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
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 needed mid-meal, your family will be glad to give you a hand.