The holidays are coming up soon, and large family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can be especially challenging for people with hearing loss. Not only do multiple people tend to talk at once in these situations, but they also raise their voices to be heard over each other.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a scenario in which it is challenging for people with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. If you have difficulty hearing from one or both ears, or you wear a hearing aid, there are several 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
Before everyone gets together, it’s important that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing loss with them. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating simpler like facing you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit difficult.
Sit in The Center of The Table
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a particular place 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. If you are in the middle of the table, you likely will not have to strain as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a spot 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
Having hearing loss makes it hard to filter out background noise and focus on conversation which makes it an especially challenging issue. If you are at a family get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. If you are in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as possible and away from noisy spots, such as close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
Think About New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful solutions if you don’t already have them. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by turning away from it and boosting the voices you need to hear to make out a conversation.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t tell them. A family gathering is a time for celebration, and your hearing loss should never prevent you from joining in on the fun. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your family will be glad to give you a hand.