The holidays are upon us, and big family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can be 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 elevate their voices to be heard over one another.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is hard for individuals with hearing loss to have a good time. There are a number of 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 use a hearing aid.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
Before everybody gets together, it’s crucial that you help your family make adjustments by talking about 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 face you when they are speaking. It may seem like an uncomfortable discussion to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively engage.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a certain 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 let your family know if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise poses a significant problem for people with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and concentrate on spoken words. 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.
Consider New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, consider investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by facing away from it and boosting the voices you need to hear to understand a conversation.
Attempting to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t tell them. A family gathering is a time to celebrate, and your hearing impairment 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 help out.