When you ponder Thanksgiving, what do you think about other than turkey? Do you begin days before, cooking and getting ready with your family? While you follow grandma’s famous pecan pie recipe, will you reminisce with each other? Is it warm and cozy not just because of the aroma coming out of the oven, but because you’re together? As the family laughs about your son’s latest dating adventure or listens to the grandkids laugh and put on a holiday play, will you be enjoying with them? Or are you struggling to catch the punchline of every joke?
Hearing loss doesn’t have to define the holiday season for you. You can take control of your holiday experience, from hearing a salesperson at a noisy store to talking over drinks at the company get together. Hearing loss doesn’t need to hold you hostage. Think about how to get the most out of your holiday despite your loss of hearing. Here are some recommendations.
At Holiday Gatherings
For people with hearing loss, parties could be the biggest challenge. Here are some tricks that will make the experience less stressful:
- Maybe try going out of the room, even if just for a while. It will allow your brain to have a chance to a rest.
- Visual clues should be carefully noted. Someone is probably talking to you if they are looking right at you. If you didn’t hear what they said let them know.
- Some of the background noise can be prevented if you stand with your back to a wall.
- In order to feel less alone, ask for a seat near the middle of the table.
- If there are any speakers that could interfere with your hearing aids, stand away from them. If the music is loud, ask the host to turn it down a bit so you can hear better, too.
- Provide some visual cues of your own. Something as basic as cupping your hand behind your ear can tell someone you have a problem hearing without you having to tell someone.
- Find places in the room that have better acoustics–maybe a quiet corner.
- If you are sitting through a speech, ask friends to pass you notes rather than attempting to whisper in your ear.
- To get things you might have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
- Manage Your Expectations. It’s pointless going to a party and expecting everything to go perfectly. Things will be more challenging because of your hearing loss. Just tackle it with a sense of humor and don’t allow the challenges to stress you out.
Hearing loss can make traveling more difficult but don’t allow that to stop you. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these suggestions.
Taking The Train or Flying
If you prefer to fly or take a train, it can be challenging to hear announcements over the speaker. If you want to make the trip smoother there are a few things you can do. Start off by checking with the airport to see if they offer any special services for the hearing impaired. They might have special signs that visually show oral announcements or apps you can download on your phone to see track changes or other vital information. They could also offer priority boarding, for example, or a sign language interpreter if you require one. You can ask for priority seating if being close enough to ask questions or read lips. Security may have a special line that you can get in, also. Be certain to inquire a few weeks before you go if you want to find out what is provided.
When you get on board, make certain the attendants are aware you have hearing loss. That way if you don’t answer when they ask if you want a drink, they will know to tap you on the shoulder to be sure.
If you are staying at a hotel, make them aware you are hearing impaired when you make your reservation. Vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing are devices which are offered for those who suffer from hearing loss at lots of resorts. In order to improve your safety, some spots are also set up with alarms that flash lights.
If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials
You might not be certain what to bring with you if this is your first time traveling with your hearing aids. Pack these essentials:
- A cleaning kit
- Additional accessories
- Extra batteries or a second charger
Wear your hearing aids as you pass security. Removing them is not required. You can keep them in during an air flight, also.
Lastly, if you don’t already have hearing aids, perhaps it’s time. In the latest hearing aids, there are functions that will get rid of background noise, enhance conversation while amplifying sound. The holidays only come once a year. Whether you have had hearing loss most of your life or just got them, there is no reason the holidays shouldn’t be everything you remember. To help you understand what your hearing options are, make an appointment with a hearing care professional.