For people who have hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be a challenge. Everyone is talking loudly and at the same time.
Combine that with the clanging of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is challenging for individuals with hearing loss to have a good time. There are a few ways you can make these loud gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a difficult time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
Before everyone gets together, it’s essential 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 members of the family, so everyone will know, for example, to try and face you when they are speaking. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit awkward.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
Family tradition may stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those places make it more difficult for you to make out conversations. If you are in the middle of the table, you likely will not have to strain as much to hear what people are saying. Make sure you speak up and let your family know if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.
Request a Lower Music Volume
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 gathering, 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 loud places, such as close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clattering of pots and pans.
Look at New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful solutions if you don’t already have them. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by facing away from it and amplifying the voices you want to hear to make out a conversation.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
The only way your loved ones will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you inform them. Hearing loss should never prevent you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your family. Your loved ones will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.