The holidays are coming up soon, and big family gatherings and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove especially tough for people with hearing loss. Not only do several people often talk at the same time in these situations, but they also elevate their voices to be heard over each other.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is hard for individuals with hearing loss to have a good time. If you have difficulty 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.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
Before everyone gathers, it’s crucial that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing impairment with them. They can then discuss it with their children and other family members, so people know, for example, to try and face you when they are speaking. It may seem like an awkward conversation to have, but it makes the meal much more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively participate.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
In some cases, it’s tradition to sit at a certain place at the table, but the best place to sit if you want to have an easier time hearing conversation isn’t at the head or near the end of the table, it’s near the middle. You won’t have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Be certain you speak up and let your family know if there is a spot at the table that’s best for you.
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 decrease the volume. At restaurants, try to sit 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 with these technologies.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
The only way your family will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you inform them. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. Your family members will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you might need to make during your meal.