For people with hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be challenging. Everyone is speaking loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even more difficult for individuals who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. There are a few 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 deal with the background noise. They can then discuss it with their children and other family members, so everyone will know, for instance, to try and look at you when they are talking. It may seem like an awkward discussion to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively engage.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a certain spot at the table, but the best spot 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. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Make sure you speak up and tell your family if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise poses a major issue for individuals with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on speech. If you are at a family get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. If you’re in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as you can and away from loud places, like close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clattering of pots and pans.
Consider 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.
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. 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 happy to give you a hand.