For people with hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be challenging. Not only do multiple people often talk at once in these settings, but they also elevate their voices to be heard over one another.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is hard for people with hearing loss to have a good time. There are a few ways you can make these noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a hard 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 impairment with them. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating smoother like facing you when they talk. It may seem like an awkward discussion to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively engage.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
In some cases, it’s tradition to sit at a particular 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 in the middle. You won’t 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 hesitate to tell your loved ones your preference.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Having hearing loss makes it difficult to filter out background noise and focus on speech which makes it a particularly challenging issue. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least lower the volume. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
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 turning away from it and boosting the voices you want to hear to understand a conversation.
Attempting to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t tell them. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your family. Your family members will be happy to help you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.