The holidays are upon us, and large family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can be 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 one another.
It becomes even harder for individuals with 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 tough time hearing out of one or both ears or if you wear a hearing aid.
Before Get-Togethers, Have a Discussion With Your Family
It is important that you talk about your hearing loss with your family members before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you cope with the background noise. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating easier like looking at you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit awkward.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a certain spot 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 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.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise poses a significant issue for people 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 gathering, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. If you’re in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as you can and away from loud places, such as near the kitchen, where you can hear the clattering of pots and pans.
Think About New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, think about investing in 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.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
The only way your loved ones will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you let them know. A family get-together 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 glad to give you a hand.