For people with hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be challenging. Not only do multiple people tend to talk at the same time in these situations, but they also raise their voices to be heard over one another.
It becomes even more difficult for individuals who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, dishes clattering, and chairs scraping. If you have a hard time hearing from one or both ears, or you use a hearing aid, there are a few steps you can take to make these big, noisy meals more enjoyable for you and your family.
Before Get-Togethers, Have a Talk With Your Family
Before everyone gathers, it’s important 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 family members, so everyone will know, for instance, to try and look at you when they are talking. It may seem like an uncomfortable discussion to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively engage.
Sit in The Center 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. If you are in the middle of the table, you probably won’t have to strain as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a place 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
Having hearing loss makes it difficult to filter out background noise and focus on speech which makes it a particularly challenging issue. If you are at a family get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low volume. If you’re in a restaurant, ask to be seated as far away from speakers as you can and away from noisy spots, such as close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clattering of pots and pans.
Technology Can Help
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful solutions if you don’t already have them. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it using these technologies.
Attempting to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
The only way your loved ones will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you inform them. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your family. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your loved ones will be happy to help out.
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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a personalized free hearing test and hearing loss consultation, call today to set up an appointment.