The holidays are upon us, and large family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove particularly challenging for people with hearing loss. Everyone is conversing loudly and at the same time.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is difficult for individuals with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. There are a few ways you can make these noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a tough time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
Before everyone gathers, it’s important that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing impairment with them. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating easier like facing you when they talk. It will make the meal much more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit difficult.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a particular 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. 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
Background noise poses a major issue for individuals with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and concentrate on speech. If you are at a family gathering, 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.
Think About New Technologies
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 facing away from it using these technologies.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
The only way your loved ones will know if you’re struggling through a meal is if you inform them. A family get-together is a time for celebration, and your hearing loss should never stop you from joining in on the fun. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your loved ones will be happy to give you a hand.