It’s that magical time of the year again, when the temperature drops, lights go up and friends and family gather together to celebrate. For some of us, hearing loss keeps us from truly enjoying the beautiful holiday season the way that we used to. Hearing loss can make the holiday season feel overwhelming. There are, however, many tips for making the “most wonderful time of the year” enjoyable for everyone, no matter your hearing profile.
Tips for enjoying the holidays with hearing loss
- Think about the table. With everything you have to think about over the holidays, the table and arrangements may be low on the list. If you or a family member have hearing loss, however, it should probably be more of a priority. If possible, round tables are the best for those with hearing loss. This way, the hearing impaired person can see everyone’s face when they are talking, and will therefore be better able to understand the conversation.
- Find a buddy. This might seem silly at first, but it can be very helpful to speak with your partner or a close family member about being your “hearing buddy” over the holidays. If you talk to them ahead of time, this person will be more akin to your hearing needs, and will be able to consistently check in with you to ensure you understand the conversations. Sit close to this person so they can easily and quickly fill you in on anything you may have missed.
- Keep the volume down. Although we all love to blast the holiday classics at our parties or family get-togethers, “Dashing Through the Snow” on full volume can be very distracting for our loved one with hearing loss. If you must have holiday music or the football game on in the background, keep it on low volume. The less background noise, the easier it is for your loved one with hearing loss to understand and enjoy the conversations. This is also true for table settings and silverware. The clinking and clanking of ceramic plates and genuine silverware can add additional and unnecessary background noise. Instead, opt for paper and plastic. They create much less noise and as an added bonus – make cleanup much easier!
- Location, location, location. Find a quiet area of the room or house to hang out in. This way, you’ll be better able to focus on your grandson as he’s introducing you to his new girlfriend, or your daughter tell you about her new job. If you’re hosting, make sure there are quiet nooks, ideally with furniture that allows guests to face each other for intimate conversations.
- Stay rested, and watch what you drink. A lot of the difficulty we experience when trying to hear stems from the mental strain to puts on our brain to decode the sounds. Get a good night’s sleep before your holiday parties to ensure your mind is as sharp as possible. It is also important to watch what you drink. Too much alcohol may not only confuse you, but there have also been studies linking alcoholic intake with decreased hearing abilities.
- Don’t be afraid to communicate your needs. This is possibly the most important tip on the list. Never be afraid to ask your family member to come to a quieter room to speak, or ask the host to turn down the music. You have been invited to the party because the hosts want you to enjoy yourself – and this means being able to understand those around you. At the end of the day, your loved ones want you to hear and be able to understand what they are telling you, and will be happy to accommodate to ensure this happens.
Get your hearing checked this holiday season!
While these tips and tricks can be helpful in better enjoying the holiday season, there are definitely more permanent and reliable treatment options. If you find yourself struggling to hear or understand this holiday season, reach out to us at Custom Hearing Solutions and schedule a hearing screen today. Hearing aids of today are loaded with great technology to make listening and understanding much easier – whether at a holiday party, in the conference room, or anywhere else your life may take you.