The holidays are upon us, and big family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove particularly tough for people with hearing loss. Not only do several people often talk at once in these settings, 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 difficult for people with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. If you have trouble 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.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
Before everybody gets together, it’s essential 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 smoother like facing you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit awkward.
Sit in The Center of The Table
Family tradition may stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table at big meals, but those places make it more difficult for you to make out conversations. If you’re in the middle of the table, you probably will not have to strain as much to hear what people are saying. Be certain you speak up and let your family know if there is a spot at the table that’s best for you.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise poses a significant issue for individuals with hearing loss because it is hard for their ears to filter out this noise and concentrate on spoken words. If you are at a family get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Consider New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, think about purchasing directional microphones or an FM system. 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.
Attempting 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 gathering is a time to celebrate, and your hearing impairment should never stop you from joining in on the fun. Your family members will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you might need to make during your meal.