The holidays are coming up soon, and big family gatherings and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove especially difficult for people with hearing loss. Everyone is conversing loudly and at the same time.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is hard for people with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. There are a few ways you can make these loud 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.
Talk to 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 cope with the background noise. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating smoother like looking at you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a certain place 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 in the middle. If you are in the middle of the table, you probably won’t have to strain as much to hear what people are saying. Be certain you speak up and let your family know 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 a particularly challenging issue. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least reduce the volume. If you are in a restaurant, ask to be seated as far away from speakers as possible and away from loud places, like close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
Technology Can Help
If you don’t already have them, think about purchasing 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.
Attempting to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
The only way your loved ones will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you tell them. A family gathering is a time for celebration, and your hearing loss should never stop you from getting in on the fun. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your loved ones will be glad to help out.