The holidays are coming up soon, and large family get-togethers and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove particularly difficult for people with hearing loss. Everyone is talking loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for people with hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. If you have difficulty 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
It is essential 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 members of the family, so people know, for instance, to try and look at you when they are talking. It might seem like an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it makes the meal much more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively participate.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
In some cases, it’s tradition to sit at a certain place 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 probably won’t have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a spot at the table you know is best for you, don’t be shy about telling your loved ones your preference.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise poses a considerable problem for individuals with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and concentrate on spoken words. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least reduce the volume. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Look at New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, consider investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by turning away from it and amplifying the voices you need to hear to understand 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. Hearing loss should never prevent you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. Your loved ones will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you might need to make during your meal.