For people with hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be a challenge. Everyone is talking loudly and at the same time.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a scenario in which it is hard for people with hearing loss to have a good time. 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.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
It is crucial that you talk about your hearing loss with your family members 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 much more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
Sometimes, 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 near the middle. If you’re in the middle of the table, you likely won’t have to strain as much to hear what people are saying. Make sure 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 difficult to filter out background noise and focus on conversation which makes it an especially challenging problem. If you are at a family gathering, 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.
Technology Can Help
If you don’t already have them, think about investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it with these technologies.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
Your loved ones won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t let them know. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your family. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your family will be glad to help out.