The holidays are coming up soon, and big family get-togethers and meals in crowded restaurants can be especially tough for people with hearing loss. Everybody is talking loudly and at the same time.
Combine that with the clanging of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a scenario in which it is hard for individuals with hearing loss to have a good time. There are a number of ways you can make these noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a difficult time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Before Gatherings, Have a Talk With Your Family
Before everyone gathers, it’s crucial that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing loss with them. They can then explain it to their children and other members of the family, so everyone will know, for example, to try and look at you when they are speaking. It might seem like an awkward discussion to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively participate.
Sit in The Center of The Table
Family tradition may stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those places make it harder for you to hear conversations. If you’re in the middle of the table, you likely won’t have to strain as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a place at the table you know is best for you, don’t be shy about telling your family your preference.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Having hearing loss makes it hard to filter out background noise and focus on conversation 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
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful options if you don’t already have them. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it with these technologies.
Attempting 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 stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your family. Your loved ones will be happy to help you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.