The holidays are upon us, and big family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove particularly difficult for people with hearing loss. Everyone is conversing loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for people with hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, dishes clattering, and chairs scraping. There are a number of ways you can make these loud gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a hard time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Before Gatherings, Have a Talk With Your Family
Before everybody 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 instance, to try and face you when they are talking. It may seem like an awkward conversation to have, but it makes the meal much more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively participate.
Sit in The Center 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 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 spot at the table that’s best for you.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Having hearing loss makes it hard to filter out background noise and focus on speech which makes it a particularly challenging issue. If you are at a family get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. At restaurants, ask to be seated away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
If you don’t already have them, consider investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing 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 inform them. A family get-together is a time to celebrate, and your hearing loss should never prevent you from joining in on the fun. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your family will be glad to help out.