For people with 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 scenario in which it is hard for people with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. There are a number of ways you can make these noisy 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.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
Before everybody gets together, it’s essential that you help your family make adjustments by talking about your hearing loss with them. They can then explain it to 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 much more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit awkward.
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 near the middle. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. 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
Background noise can be a major issue for individuals with hearing loss because it is hard for their ears to filter out this noise and concentrate on speech. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least decrease the volume. At restaurants, ask to be seated away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Consider New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, consider investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by turning away from it with these technologies.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
The only way your family will know if you’re struggling through a meal is if you tell them. Hearing loss should never prevent you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. Your family members will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.