The holidays are upon us, and big family get-togethers and meals in crowded restaurants can be particularly challenging for people with hearing loss. Not only do multiple people often talk at the same time in these situations, but they also elevate 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 have a good time. There are a number of ways you can make these noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a difficult time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
It is important 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. They can then explain it to their children and other family members, so people know, for instance, to try and look at you when they are talking. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit difficult.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
In some cases, it’s tradition to sit at a particular 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 in the middle. You won’t have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Be certain you speak up and let your family know if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Background noise poses a considerable issue for individuals with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on spoken words. If you are at a family gathering, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low volume. If you are in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as you can and away from loud places, such as close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clattering of pots and pans.
Technology Can Help
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful solutions if you don’t already have them. 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 let them know. A family get-together is a time for celebration, and your hearing impairment should never prevent you from getting in on the fun. Your family members will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.