For people who have hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be challenging. Everyone is conversing loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for individuals who have 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 use a hearing aid, there are a few steps you can take to make these big, noisy meals more enjoyable for you and your family.
Before Gatherings, Have a Talk With Your Family
Before everybody gets together, it’s crucial that you help your family make adjustments by talking about your hearing loss with them. They can then discuss it with their children and other family members, so everyone will know, for example, to try and face you when they are speaking. It might seem like an uncomfortable discussion to have, but it makes the meal much more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively participate.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a certain 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 are in the middle of the table, you probably won’t have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. Make sure you speak up and let your family know if there is a spot at the table that’s best for you.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Background noise can be a considerable challenge for people with hearing loss because it is 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 decrease the volume. If you are in a restaurant, ask to be seated as far away from speakers as possible and away from loud spots, such as near the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
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 using 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 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 glad to help out.