The holidays are coming up soon, and big family get-togethers and meals in crowded restaurants can prove especially challenging for people with hearing loss. Not only do several people tend to talk at the same time in these situations, but they also raise their voices to be heard over each other.
Combine that with the clanging 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. If you have trouble hearing from one or both ears, or you use a hearing aid, there are several steps you can take to make these big, noisy meals more enjoyable for you and your family.
Before Get-Togethers, Have a Talk With Your Family
Before everybody gets together, it’s essential that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing impairment with them. 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 everyone even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
Family tradition might stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those spots make it harder for you to make out conversations. You won’t have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. If there is a place at the table you know is best for you, don’t hesitate to tell your family your preference.
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 problem. 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 are in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as possible and away from noisy places, like near the kitchen, where you can hear the clattering of pots and pans.
Technology Can Help
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful options if you don’t already have them. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by turning away from it using these technologies.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t tell them. A family gathering is a time to celebrate, and your hearing loss should never prevent you from joining in on the fun. Your family members will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you might need to make during your meal.