The holidays are coming up soon, and big family get-togethers and meals in crowded restaurants can prove especially difficult for people with hearing loss. Not only do several people tend to talk at the same time in these settings, but they also raise their voices to be heard over one another.
It becomes even harder for individuals who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, dishes clattering, and chairs scraping. If you have a hard time hearing from one or both ears, or you wear a hearing aid, there are a few steps you can take to make these big, noisy meals more enjoyable for you and your family.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
Before everybody gets together, it’s crucial that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing loss with them. They can then discuss it with their children and other family members, so everyone will know, for example, to try and look at you when they are speaking. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit awkward.
Sit in The Center of The Table
Family tradition may stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table at big meals, but those places make it more difficult for you to hear conversations. You will not 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 place at the table that’s best for you.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise can be a major problem for individuals with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on speech. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least lower the volume. At restaurants, ask to be seated away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Look at New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful 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
Your loved ones won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t tell them. Hearing loss should never prevent you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your loved ones will be glad to give you a hand.