The holidays are coming up soon, and big family gatherings and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove particularly difficult for people with hearing loss. Not only do several people tend to talk at once in these situations, but they also elevate their voices to be heard over each other.
It becomes even more difficult for individuals with hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. If you have difficulty hearing from one or both ears, or you use a hearing aid, there are a few steps you can take to make these big, noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
It is essential that you discuss your hearing loss with your family members before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you deal with the background noise. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating simpler like looking at you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody 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 spot at the table, but the best spot 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. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Be certain 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 poses a major 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 volume. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Consider New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, think about purchasing directional microphones or an FM system. 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 let them know. A family get-together is a time for celebration, and your hearing impairment should never stop you from getting in on the fun. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your loved ones will be glad to help out.