Stephenville, TX

Abilene, Stephenville and Brownwood, TX

You Can Still Enjoy the Holiday Season in Spite of Hearing Loss

Family enjoying Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner together around the dining table at grandmother's home.

So, so many family get-togethers.

It probably feels like you’re meeting or reuniting with every relative you have, every weekend, during the holidays. That’s the charm (and, some might say, the curse) of the holiday season. Normally, this sort of yearly catching up is something that’s pleasing to anticipate. You get to find out what everyone’s been up to all year.

But when you have hearing loss, those family get-togethers might seem a little less welcoming. What’s the reason for this? What are the impacts of hearing loss at family gatherings?

Hearing loss can impede your ability to communicate, and with other people’s ability to communicate with you. The resulting experience of alienation can be extremely discouraging and stressful around the holidays. Hearing specialists and professionals have developed some go-to tips that can help make your holidays more pleasant, and more rewarding, when you have hearing loss.

Tips to help you enjoy the holiday season

There’s a lot to see around the holidays, lights, food, gifts, and more. But there’s also a lot to hear: how your nephew is doing in school, how your cousin’s pick-up basketball team is doing, and on, and on.

These tips are meant to help be certain that you keep experiencing all of those moments of reconnection over the course of holiday get-togethers.

Steer clear of phone calls – use video instead

Zoom calls can be an excellent way to keep in touch with friends and family. That’s particularly true if you have hearing loss. Try utilizing video calls instead of phone calls if you have hearing loss and want to reach out to loved ones throughout the holidays.

When it comes to communicating with hearing loss, phones present a particular challenge. It can be very difficult to hear the muffled sounding voice at the other end, and that can definitely be aggravating. With a video call, the audio quality won’t actually improve, but you’ll have a lot more information to help you communicate. Conversations will flow better on video calls because you can read lips and use facial expressions.

Be honest with people

It’s not uncommon for people to have hearing loss. It’s important to let people know if you need help. There’s no harm in asking for:

  • Conversations to occur in quieter areas of the get-together (more on this in a bit).
  • Your family and friends to speak a bit slower.
  • People to repeat what they said, but requesting that they rephrase too.

When people are aware that you have hearing loss, they’re not as likely to become aggravated if you need something repeated more than once. As a result, communication tends to flow a little bit easier.

Find some quiet areas for talking

During the holidays, there are always subjects of conversation you want to steer clear of. So, you’re strategic, you don’t just bring up sensitive subjects about people, you wait for those individuals to bring it up. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, this goes double, only instead of avoiding certain topics of conversation, you should carefully steer clear of specific places in a home which make hearing conversations more challenging.

deal with it like this:

  • Attempt to find well lit spots for this same reason. Contextual clues, including body language and facial expressions, can get lost in darker spaces.
  • When you choose a place to sit, try to put a wall against your back. That way, there’ll be less background interference for you to have to filter through.
  • Attempt to find places that have less motion and fewer people going by and distracting you. This will put you in a stronger position to read lips more effectively.
  • There will be quieter spots in the home where you have conversations. Perhaps that means moving away from the noisy furnace or removing yourself from areas of overlapping conversations.

So what if you’re in the noisy kitchen, filling up your cocoa mug, and your niece starts talking to you? There are a few things you can do in cases like these:

  • If there’s music playing in the area, politely ask the host to turn the music down so you can hear your niece a little better.
  • Ask your niece to carry on the conversation someplace where it’s a bit quieter.
  • Quietly lead your niece to a place that has less going on. Be sure to explain that’s what you’re doing.

Speak to the flight crew

So how about less obvious effects of hearing loss on holiday plans? Like the ones that catch you by surprise.

Lots of people fly around during the holidays, it’s particularly important for families that are pretty spread out. It’s crucial that you can understand all of the directions coming from the flight crew when you fly. So you need to be certain to let them know about your hearing loss. In this way, the flight crew can give you visual instructions if necessary. When you’re flying, it’s essential not to miss anything!

Take breaks

It can be lots of work trying to communicate when you have hearing loss. You will often find yourself fatigued more frequently than before. So taking regular breaks is essential. By doing this, your ears and your brain can get a rest.

Invest in some hearing aids

How are relationships affected by hearing loss? Hearing loss has a significant impact on relationships.

One of the greatest benefits of hearing aids is that they will make almost every interaction with your family during the holidays smoother and more fulfilling. And no more asking people to repeat themselves.

Put simply, hearing aids will help you reconnect with your family.

It might take some time to get used to your new hearing aids. So it’s advisable that you pick them up well in advance of your holiday plans. Of course, everybody’s experience will differ. So talk to us about the timing.

You can get help navigating the holidays

It can seem like you’re by yourself sometimes, and that nobody can relate to what you’re dealing with when you have hearing loss. In this way, it’s almost like hearing loss impacts your personality. But you’re not alone. You can navigate many of the difficulties with our help.

Holidays can be difficult enough even under typical circumstances and you don’t need hearing loss to make it even harder. With the right approach, you can look forward to seeing, and hearing, your family during this time of year.

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.

Questions? Talk To Us.