The holidays are coming up soon, and big family gatherings and dinners in crowded restaurants can prove particularly tough for people with hearing loss. Not only do several people tend to talk at the same time in these settings, but they also raise their voices to be heard over each other.
It becomes even harder for people who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, dishes clattering, and chairs scraping. 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 wear a hearing aid.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
Before everyone gets together, it’s essential that you help your family make adjustments by talking about your hearing impairment with them. They can then explain it to their children and other members of the family, so everyone will know, for instance, to try and face you when they are speaking. It may seem like an awkward discussion to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively participate.
Sit in The Center of The Table
Family tradition may dictate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table at big meals, but those places make it harder for you to make out conversations. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. 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. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least decrease the volume. If you are in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as you can and away from noisy spots, like close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
Consider New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful options 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 need to hear to make out a conversation.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your loved ones won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t let them know. A family gathering is a time for celebration, and your hearing loss should never prevent you from joining in on the fun. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your family will be happy to give you a hand.