The holidays are coming up soon, and large family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove especially tough for people with hearing loss. Not only do multiple people often talk at once in these situations, but they also raise their voices to be heard over each other.
Combine that with the clanging of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a scenario in which it is hard for people with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. If you have a hard time hearing from one or both ears, or you wear a hearing aid, there are several steps you can take to make these big, noisy meals more enjoyable for you and your family.
Before Get-Togethers, Have a Discussion With Your Family
It is essential that you talk about your hearing loss with your family members 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 speaking. It will make the meal much more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
Sit in The Center of The Table
Family tradition might stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those spots make it more difficult for you to hear conversations. You won’t have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. If there is a spot at the table you know is best for you, don’t hesitate to tell your loved ones your preference.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Having hearing loss makes it hard to filter out background noise and focus on conversation which makes it a particularly challenging issue. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least lower the volume. If you are in a restaurant, ask to be seated as far away from speakers as possible and away from noisy spots, like near the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
Technology Can Help
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 turning away from it with these technologies.
Trying 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. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your family. Your family members will be happy to help you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.