The holidays are a big part of the year, and everyone loves a chance to enjoy fresh, delicious food & friendly company. However, socialising during the holidays can be a bit daunting for those suffering with hearing problems. So that you don’t miss out on those important moments with your loved ones, we have put together two lists of our top tips for hearing better during the holiday season.
Hearing Sense’s Tips and tricks for holiday events:
- Turn down the music. Music can become overpowering, especially when it’s combined with the voices of multiple people. While the cocktail party effect allows some people to drown out the noise, you might not be able to. Don’t assume the hosts or guests mean any harm by the music — they might not even realize that it’s bothering you! Bring it up politely, and they should be happy to turn it down a notch.
- Find a quiet area. If your home or the host’s home has a quiet sitting area, back porch, or balcony, you can find respite in these places when things get loud. If you need a minute to yourself, just let someone know and take a breather. You can also take someone with you and have a quieter conversation.
- Let the host know. If you’re attending someone else’s event, make sure to tell the host about your hearing loss. Offer tips on how to make the gathering more hearing loss friendly (eg reducing music level, soft furnishings can help like cushions/ carpet) and let them know of any personal preferences you have. If you’re still hesitant to say anything, remember that it’s no different from notifying the host about food allergies.
- Embrace your hearing loss. Don’t be embarrassed or shy about telling people about your hearing loss. You have the right to a good time, and friends and family will understand that. Let people know that you are hard of hearing and ask politely that they would mind moving to a quieter spot or speaking a little slower. If they’re worth being around, they’ll happily do their best.
Hearing Sense’s Tips for Better Hearing during Holiday Meals:
Holiday meals are a time for lively interaction, but it can also get out of control. People talking over one another, loud plates and forks, and multiple conversations can quickly ruin the experience for someone with hearing loss. A few small changes can alleviate these problems. Several of these tips can also benefit others at the dinner table, so there’s no harm in suggesting them!
- Ask if a circular seating arrangement is available. Circular tables create a better listening environment than long rows of seating. It’s also more inclusive and friendly for everyone involved!
- Grab a dinner buddy. A friend, spouse, or family member can help you catch conversations you missed and keep you from feeling isolated. If you have a type of hearing loss that affects higher pitches, consider a buddy with a lower voice.
- Politely request that people take turns speaking. Everyone talking at once is a nightmare for anyone with hearing loss, communication disorders, or general anxiety. It’s less frustrating for everyone if the conversation is calm and orderly.
- Put your best position forward. If you hear better through one ear, or just prefer to sit on one side of the table, make sure to bring it up with the host. They should be happy to put you and your dinner companion somewhere comfortable.
- Suggest disposable dinnerware. The clanking and clattering of dinnerware can be unpleasant and loud, even for people without hearing loss. Suggest disposable dinnerware for a quieter dinner and easier clean-up. Also making sure there are placemats or a tablecloth can dampen loud plates/ cutlery sounds.
- Put the loudest noise behind you – our ears are designed to block sounds from the back and pick up in front. So if possible, get the music or loudest group of people/ kitchen noise behind you. Choose the best seat in the house to hear well.
How Hearing Aids Can Help You Hear Better during the Holiday Season
Most of these tips can apply to all people with hearing loss, regardless of whether or not they use hearing aids. However, if you are hesitant to begin using hearing aids, the holidays might be a great time to try them. You can enjoy better hearing with clearer speech comprehension in noisy situations, get a feel for what the hearing aids are like, and begin adjusting them immediately.
If you are currently using hearing aids but are interested in trying out new functions or technology, the holidays are a great time to do this. With so many social events during the summer months, it’s a good time to get your hearing tested and think about new hearing aids as a present to yourself. In cases like these, earlier is better. Then, you can attend your family reunions, brunches, and holiday parties with a better range of hearing.
New noise reduction technology can automatically look for the background noise, drop it down and lift speech up over the noise.
Many people who use hearing aids say that they enjoy conversations more and are able to communicate more effectively when using them. Holidays and events are the time to catch up with loved ones, share stories, and talk about your upcoming plans. Hearing aids can help you hear what’s going on around you, so you can take part in the jokes and tell your own stories without hesitation.
Give us a call on 8331 8047 to book a FREE appointment to learn more about how hearing aids can help you this holiday season.