The holiday season can be a perfect time to catch up with loved ones. Whether you are preparing to host an event for family, just meeting up with friends for an impromptu party, or celebrating virtually, the holidays are a great time to connect with others.
But what if you suffer from hearing loss? At holiday gatherings, there are often many people speaking at the same time, in addition to the things like the sounds of holiday music, restaurant chatter, or televisions blaring. Even people with perfect hearing may have trouble understanding a conversation.
With hearing loss, the holiday season can feel especially isolating, but it doesn’t need to be. With the right tools, tips, and tricks, you can happily celebrate the holidays with your loved ones once again.
Pick the right location
Regardless of where you choose to celebrate the holidays, the right location in the room can make a huge difference in your ability to hear others. Follow our tips to help you choose the best spot for your hearing purposes.
- Believe it or not, flooring and wall materials make all the difference. Soft materials can help to absorb noise. Things like carpeting, tablecloths, and drapery can reduce echoes and other ambient noises.
- Try to avoid areas with multiple sound sources. In a home, avoid areas like kitchens or near televisions. In a restaurant, ask for a seat away from the kitchen or bar.
- Try to avoid speakers as best you can. Corners or booths can also help provide some relief from loud music.
- Try to catch up with loved ones through one-on-one conversations. There is nothing wrong with finding a quieter spot in the hallway or outside so you can catch every word.
- Arrive early in order to pick the best seat in the house. When choosing your seat, try to pick an area with good lighting in order to see people’s faces, which can help you pick up on facial cues as well as read their lips.
- Your loved ones can also sit strategically in order to help you hear. If you have one-sided hearing loss, meaning you have one ear stronger than the other, ask individuals to sit next to the stronger ear.
Let your loved ones know if you can’t hear
Although it may seem daunting, there is no reason to hide your hearing loss. While it may seem easier to pretend that you can hear and simply nod along with others, this isn’t fair to you or your conversation partner. Ask others to help fill in gaps of conversation or ask for a recap afterward.
Visual cues can also help you let others know that you are missing parts of the conversation. By placing your hand to your ear, you can signify to the speaker to speak louder or slower without disrupting the flow of the conversation. While a simple solution, it can make a world of difference.
Notice changes in your hearing? There’s still time to get help.
Although the excitement of the holidays may make it seem like they’re right around the corner, there is still time to get your hearing checked. If you are worried about hearing this holiday season, consider getting a complimentary no-obligation hearing assessment* to see if hearing aids are an option for you. A hearing specialist can also give you helpful communication tips.
If you are concerned about a loved one’s hearing, offer to bring them with you to your appointment. We encourage our customers to bring a friend or loved one with them.
Let your hearing aids help you
Sometimes, you need more than just tips or tricks. The newest hearing aids are designed for complex hearing environments, such as holiday parties, where noise is coming from multiple sources. These new devices will help you hear exactly what you want to hear, even in situations with multiple people speaking.
Before you head out, try various settings to see what works best for you in especially noisy environments. If your current device isn’t enough, you may want the extra help of a discreet clip-on microphone. If you are celebrating virtually, remember that certain hearing devices can connect via Bluetooth® to your devices, allowing you to hear every word.
If you feel your hearing aid’s settings need to be checked or reprogrammed, feel free to stop into any HearingLife location.
Enjoy your holidays
It can be stressful attending holiday events as a person with hearing loss. Don’t let your hearing loss keep you from enjoying time with friends or family. Go easy on yourself, especially if you have new hearing aids. New hearing devices can take some time to get used to, so be sure to give your brain a rest and re-energize when you feel fatigue setting in. If you have trouble listening to multiple people, focus on just the people nearest to you. Smaller and quieter groups can help as well. Remember that it’s your holiday too. Don’t let a social event go from enjoyable to a test of stamina.
Locate your closest HearingLife office and make an appointment today. Don’t let your hearing loss keep you from your loved ones this holiday season. Learn about hearing aids and the many ways in which they can enhance your quality of life.