The holidays are upon us, and large family gatherings and meals in crowded restaurants can be particularly tough for people with hearing loss. Everyone is talking loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even more difficult for individuals who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. There are a few ways you can make these loud 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.
Before Gatherings, Have a Discussion With Your Family
Before everyone gathers, it’s crucial 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 looking at you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit difficult.
Sit in The Center of The Table
Family tradition might dictate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those spots make it harder for you to hear conversations. If you are in the middle of the table, you probably will not have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a spot at the table you know is best for you, don’t hesitate to tell your loved ones your preference.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Having hearing loss makes it difficult to filter out background noise and focus on speech which makes it a particularly challenging problem. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least lower the volume. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Consider New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful solutions if you don’t already have them. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by turning away from it and amplifying the voices you want to hear to make out a conversation.
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 for celebration, and your hearing loss should never stop you from joining in on the fun. Your loved ones will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.