How Best to Handle Hearing Loss at Family Gatherings

The holidays are almost here, and this time of the year is great for connecting with family and friends. Don’t let your hearing loss get in the way of making the most of your holiday get together. Follow our tips on how best to handle hearing loss at family gatherings.

  1. Don’t hide your hearing loss from your loved ones. Let everyone know that you are dealing with hearing loss, and let them know how they can help you hear them better.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask anyone to repeat something if you couldn’t hear it.
  3. Turn off unnecessary background noise like the television or music. If you don’t have control of turning it off or down, then try to sit the farthest away from the source of the noise.
  4. Mood lighting and candlelight dinners aren’t conducive to hearing loss. Plan to turn the lights up so that you can see who is talking. Even if you aren’t lip-reading, having the lights turned up helps with communication in general. In good lighting, you can see the sound source and facial expressions, which provide clues as to what is being said.
  5. Don’t be afraid to move or ask to switch seats if you find you are sitting somewhere you can’t hear well.
  6. Find a seat or area where your hearing is optimal and stay there. Some areas of a room might have an echo, bad acoustics, or even the air conditioner, fan, or heater can cause noise interference.
  7. Give your ears a break about once an hour. Going outside or to a quiet room for just a few minutes can help give your auditory system some time to rest.
  8. Ask to be involved in activities with your family, plan to lead a craft or activity with the kids, ask to give a toast at dinner, and try to be engaged and involved as much as possible.

Hearing Aid Tip(s) to Remember: If you’re wearing hearing aids, make sure they are in good working order before heading to any social event. Stop in for a clean and check. Make sure you’ve done your maintenance and home care. Change (or charge) the batteries and bring backups. And, make sure you know how to use your manual settings for background noise programs and volume control. Considering these helpful tips will contribute to successful interactions with your friends and family.

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