Hearcare  INC., & Associates - Sherman & Gainesville, TX

Family enjoying Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner together around the dining table at grandmother's home.

So, so many family get-togethers.

During the holidays, it most likely seems like you’re meeting (or re-meeting) a new long-lost relative almost every weekend. That’s the appeal (and, some might say, the curse) of the holiday season. Normally, this sort of yearly catching up is something that’s pleasing to look forward to. You get to reunite with everyone and find out what they’ve been doing!

But those family gatherings may feel less inviting when you have hearing loss. Why is that? What are the effects of hearing loss at family gatherings?

Hearing loss can interfere with your ability to communicate, and with others’ ability to communicate with you. The result can be a discouraging feeling of alienation, and it’s an especially distressing sensation when it happens during the holidays. Your holiday season can be more rewarding and pleasant by using a few go-to tips formulated by hearing specialists.

Tips to help you enjoy the holiday season

There’s lots to see around the holidays, lights, food, gifts, and more. But there are not only things to see, but also things to hear: how your nephew is doing in school, how your cousin’s pond hockey team is doing, and on, and on.

During holiday gatherings, use these tips to get through and make more unforgettable moments.

Avoid phone calls – instead, use video calls.

For family and friends, Zoom video calls can be a great way to keep in touch. That’s especially true if you have hearing loss. Try utilizing video calls instead of phone calls if you have hearing loss and want to touch base with loved ones during the holidays.

When it comes to communicating with hearing loss, phones represent a particular obstacle. The voice on the other end can sound muffled and hard to understand, and that makes what should be an enjoyable phone call annoying indeed. You won’t have clearer audio quality from a video call, but you will at least have visual cues to help determine what’s being said. From body language to facial expressions, video calls offer additional context, and that can help the conversation flow better.

Be honest with people

It’s not uncommon for people to suffer from hearing loss. If you need help, it’s crucial to communicate that! There’s no harm in asking for:

  • People to paraphrase and repeat what they said.
  • Conversations to happen in quieter areas of the get-together (more on this in a bit).
  • Your family and friends to talk a bit slower.

People will be less likely to become annoyed when you ask them to repeat themselves if they know that you have hearing loss. Communication will flow better as a result.

Select your locations of conversation carefully

You will always want to avoid certain subjects of conversation throughout the holidays. So, you’re strategic, you don’t just bring up touchy subjects about people, you wait for those people to mention it. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, this even more important, only instead of avoiding certain topics of conversation, you should cautiously steer clear of specific areas in a home which make hearing conversations more difficult.

deal with it like this:

  • Try to find an area of the gathering that’s a little bit quieter. Maybe that means sneaking away from the noisy furnace or excusing yourself from areas of overlapping conversations.
  • You’re seeking areas with less commotion. This will put you in a better position to read lips more effectively.
  • Try to find well lit places for this same reason. Contextual clues, including body language and facial expressions, can get lost in darker spaces.
  • Try to sit with your back to a wall. That way, there’ll be less background noise for you to have to deal with.

So what if you’re in the noisy kitchen, filling up your cocoa mug, and your niece begins talking to you? There are a couple of things you can do in situations like these:

  • Politely begin walking to an area of the gathering place where you can hear and concentrate better. Be sure to mention that’s what you’re doing.
  • Suggest that you and your niece go someplace quieter to talk.
  • If there’s music playing in the area, politely ask the host to turn the music down so you can hear your niece a little better.

Speak to the flight crew

So, you’re thinking: what are the effects of hearing loss at family get-togethers that aren’t as apparent? Like the ones that sneak up on you.

When families are spread out, lots of people have to fly somewhere. When you fly, it’s crucial to comprehend all the directions and communication provided by the flight crew. Which is why it’s extra significant to tell the flight crew that you have problems hearing or have hearing loss. That way, the flight crew can give you visual instructions if necessary. When you’re flying, it’s essential not to miss anything!

Take breaks

It can be a lot of work trying to communicate when you have hearing loss. You may find yourself getting more tired or exhausted than you once did. So taking frequent breaks is important. By doing this, your ears and your brain will get a break.

Invest in some hearing aids

How does hearing loss affect relationships? Hearing loss has a significant affect on relationships.

One of the greatest advantages of hearing aids is that they will make almost every interaction with your family through the holidays smoother and more satisfying. And no more asking people what they said.

In other words, hearing aids will help you reconnect with your family.

Keep in mind that it could take you a bit of time to get used to your hearing aids. So it’s advisable that you pick them up well in advance of your holiday plans. Naturally, everyone’s experience will differ. But we can help you with the timing.

You can get help getting through the holidays

It can feel as if you’re alone sometimes, and that no one can relate to what you’re going through when you have hearing loss. It’s like hearing loss is impacting your personality in this way. But you aren’t alone. You can get through many of the difficulties with our help.

Holidays can be difficult enough even under normal circumstances and you don’t need hearing loss to make it even harder. At this time of year, you can look forward to seeing, and hearing your friends and family. All you need is the correct strategy.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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