For people with hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be challenging. Not only do several people often talk at once in these situations, but they also raise 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 individuals with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. If you have trouble hearing from one or both ears, or you wear a hearing aid, there are several 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
It is important that you discuss your hearing loss with your family members before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you cope with the background noise. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating simpler like facing you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
In some cases, it’s tradition to sit at a particular spot 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 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 loved ones your preference.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Having hearing loss makes it difficult to filter out background noise and focus on conversation which makes it a particularly challenging issue. If you are at a family gathering, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low volume. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Consider New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, consider purchasing directional microphones or an FM system. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by turning away from it and boosting the voices you need to hear to make out a conversation.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
The only way your family will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you let them know. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your family will be glad to help out.