The holidays are upon us, and large family get-togethers and meals in crowded restaurants can be especially difficult for people with hearing loss. Not only do several people tend to talk at the same time in these settings, but they also elevate their voices to be heard over one another.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is hard for individuals with hearing loss to have a good time. If you have a hard time hearing from one or both ears, or you use 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
It is important that you discuss your hearing loss with your family before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you deal with the background noise. 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 dictate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those places make it more difficult for you to hear conversations. You won’t have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Be certain you speak up and tell your family if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Having hearing loss makes it hard to filter out background noise and focus on conversation which makes it a particularly challenging issue. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least lower the volume. If you are in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as you can and away from noisy spots, such as close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clattering of pots and pans.
Look at New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful options 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.
Attempting to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your loved ones won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t tell them. A family get-together is a time for celebration, and your hearing impairment should never prevent you from joining in on the fun. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your loved ones will be glad to give you a hand.