For people who have hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be challenging. Everybody is talking loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for people who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. There are a number of ways you can make these loud gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a difficult 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 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 smoother like facing you when they talk. It may seem like an awkward conversation to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively engage.
Sit in The Middle 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 make out conversations. 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 can be a significant problem for individuals with hearing loss because it is 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 decrease 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 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 Try to Bluff Your Way Through
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t inform them. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. Your family members will be happy to help you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.