The holidays are coming up soon, and large family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove particularly tough for people with hearing loss. Everybody is conversing loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for people who have 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 noisy 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.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
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 cope with the background noise. They can then explain it to their children and other family members, so people know, for example, to try and face you when they are speaking. It may seem like an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it makes the meal much more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively participate.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
Family tradition might 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 likely won’t have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a place at the table you know is best for you, don’t hesitate to tell your family your preference.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Background noise can be a significant challenge for individuals with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and concentrate on speech. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least decrease the volume. At restaurants, ask to be seated away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Think About New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful solutions if you don’t already have them. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it with these technologies.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your loved ones 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 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 happy to give you a hand.