For people with hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be a challenge. 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 one another.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is difficult for people with hearing loss to have a good time. 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 use a hearing aid.
Before Get-Togethers, Have a Talk With Your Family
It is crucial that you talk about your hearing loss with your family 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 may seem like an awkward discussion to have, but it makes the meal much more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively participate.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
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 likely will not have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a spot at the table you know is best for you, don’t be shy about telling 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 speech 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 volume. If you are in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as you can and away from noisy places, like close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
Consider New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, consider investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by turning away from it and amplifying the voices you need to hear to understand a conversation.
Don’t Try to Bluff Your Way Through
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t let them know. Hearing loss should never prevent you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your family will be happy to give you a hand.