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Woman with hearing loss feeling isolated during holidays.

When you ponder Thanksgiving, what do you think about other than turkey? Does the cooking and preparing with your family begin days before? Will you catch up with each other while following grandma’s famous homemade pecan pie recipe? It’s warm and comfortable because you are together, and a yummy aroma is wafting from the oven. As the family laughs about your son’s latest girlfriend or listens to the grandkids laugh and sing holiday songs will you be laughing with them? Or are you fighting to hear what everyone is saying?

Loss of hearing doesn’t have to define the holiday season for you. You can take charge of your holiday experience, from hearing a salesperson at a noisy store to talking over drinks at the company party. You don’t have to be held hostage by loss of hearing. Think about how to get the most out of your holiday in spite of your loss of hearing. Here are some recommendations.

At Holiday Get-Togethers

For anyone who has loss of hearing, parties may be the biggest challenge. Here are some suggestions that will make the experience less stressful:

  • Use visual hints to let others know what is going on. Something as simple as cupping your hand behind your ear can let someone know you’re having difficulty hearing without you needing to tell someone.
  • Maybe there is a quiet place in the room that has better acoustics where you can go.
  • In order to get things you might have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
  • Some of the background noise can be prevented if you stand with your back to a wall.
  • So you can feel less isolated, request a seat close to the center of the table.
  • Go out of the room every now and then. A little time for the brain to rest and recover will be extremely helpful.
  • Maybe you could get a friend to pass you notes at a speech rather than whispering in your ears.
  • Your expectations have to be managed. It’s an impractical expectation to imagine that you will walk into a party and find everything to be ideal. Your loss of hearing will definitely make things more difficult. Don’t allow the challenges to stress you out, just use a sense of humor about it.
  • If there are any speakers which could interfere with your hearing aids, stand away from them. Don’t be shy about asking the host to turn the music down so you can hear better.
  • Visual clues should be carefully noted. Someone is probably speaking to you if they are looking right at you. If you didn’t hear what they said inform them.

Travel Tips

Hearing loss can make traveling more challenging but don’t allow that to get in your way. Here are some tips to help make your holiday travels go smoothly.

Taking The Train or Flying

If you prefer to fly or take a train, it can be difficult to hear announcements over the intercom. There are a few things you can do to make the trip better. Checking if the airport or train station offers any special services for the hearing impaired is step one. They could have special signs that visually show oral announcements or apps you can get on your phone to see track changes or other critical information. They may also provide priority boarding, for example, or a sign language interpreter if you require one. You can request priority seating if being close enough to ask questions or read lips. They might offer to bring you through a select line in security, too. Be certain to ask a few weeks early if you want to find out what is provided.

Be sure the attendants are aware that you have hearing loss when you get on board. That way if you don’t answer when they ask about a drink, they will know to tap you on the shoulder to make sure.

Lodging Tips

When you reserve your hotel room, let them know you are hearing impaired. Lots of resorts have rooms or devices available for those with hearing loss such as vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing. In order to improve your safety, some places are also set up with alarms that flash lights.

If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials

You might not be certain what to bring with you if this is your first time traveling with your hearing aids. Some essentials to pack include:

  • A cleaning kit
  • Additional accessories
  • Replacement batteries or a second charger

Keep your hearing aids in as you pass security. Taking them out is not necessary. Also, during a flight, you can leave them in.

And if you don’t already own hearing aids, perhaps it’s time. There are features in quality hearing aids that can amplify sound while enhancing conversations and getting rid of background noise. The holidays are a once a year celebration. There is no reason the holidays can’t be everything you remember whether you’ve had hearing loss your whole life or if you are new to it. To help you know what your hearing solutions are, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.

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.
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