The holiday season is a time of the year when family and friends get together and celebrate. The opportunities to welcome your nearest and dearest into your home are plentiful. However, large gatherings often result in a loud environment, which can be especially challenging if you suffer from a hearing loss. We’ve compiled some top tips to help you enjoy this time of the year, and “hear” for the holidays.
Whether it’s yourself or one of your guests with a hearing loss, the aim is for everyone to enjoy the Holiday Season. Here are some basic tips to help anyone with a hearing loss.
- Before you speak to someone, get their attention either by saying their name or briefly touching their hand or arm.
- Always face the person you are speaking with.
- Speak slowly and clearly, try not to shout.
- Actively listen and never interrupt.
- If you suffer from asymmetric hearing loss (hearing loss is more pronounced on one side), try orienting yourself so that your best ear is closest to your companion.
- Adjust your hearing aid levels accordingly before the gathering. Do not forget to use any additional programs that are designed for noisy conversational situations
If the gathering is taking place at your home, be sure to keep the room well lit. Candles are nice and cozy, but good lighting will make it easier for anyone with a hearing loss to lip read or use other visual cues that help them converse. If you are not in your home, try to seek out well lit areas and position yourself so that you are close to those you wish to speak with.
If you are hosting the gathering, be sure to set any background music or television to a low level. If possible, also set aside a quiet area that’s slightly removed from the group. This enables anyone struggling to hear to concentrate on 1-on-1 conversations.
If you are away from home, don’t be afraid to mention to the host that you have a hearing loss. Request the volume of any background noise be turned down a little. Or simply ask whomever you are talking with if you can relocate somewhere more quiet to continue your conversation. If you are watching a movie, ask for the closed captioning to be turned on.
If you know someone else attending the gathering, why not ask them if they mind staying close and partnering up? They can fill in the blanks and boost your confidence by ensuring you don’t miss a moment of the conversation. This is a more subtle way to enable greater inclusion and enjoyment for everyone involved.
Hearing loss shouldn’t hamper anyone’s ability to enjoy the holiday season. If you are concerned about your hearing and would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Call us on (212) 786-5741 or click here to request an appointment today.