For people who have hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be challenging. Everyone is speaking loudly and at the same time.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a scenario in which it is challenging for people 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 hard time hearing out of one or both ears or if you wear a hearing aid.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
It is essential that you talk about your hearing loss with your family before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you deal with the background noise. They can then discuss it with their children and other members of the family, so people know, for instance, to try and look at you when they are speaking. It may seem like an awkward discussion to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively engage.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
In some cases, it’s tradition to sit at a particular spot 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 in the middle. If you’re in the middle of the table, you likely won’t have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. Make sure you speak up and tell your family if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Background noise poses a significant challenge 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 get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. If you’re in a restaurant, ask to be seated as far away from speakers as possible and away from noisy places, such as close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clattering of pots and pans.
Look at New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful options 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 understand a conversation.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your loved ones won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t tell them. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your loved ones will be happy to help out.