The holidays are coming up soon, and big family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can be particularly tough for people with hearing loss. Everyone is speaking loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for individuals with hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. If you have trouble 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.
Before Get-Togethers, Have a Discussion With Your Family
It is crucial that you discuss 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 explain it to their children and other family members, so everyone will know, for instance, to try and face you when they are talking. It will make the meal much more enjoyable for everyone 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 spots make it harder for you to hear conversations. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. If there is a place at the table you know is best for you, don’t be shy about telling 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 an especially 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.
Technology Can Help
If you don’t already have them, think about investing in directional microphones or an FM system. 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.
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 gathering is a time for celebration, and your hearing impairment should never stop you from joining in on the fun. Your family members will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.