If you’re struggling with hearing loss this holiday season, know that you’re not alone. Research estimates that nearly 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing.
Hearing loss can make it difficult to connect and engage during family get-togethers during the holidays. The good news is that using hearing aids, along with incorporating a few of the following listening tips, can help make these events less stressful and more joyful.
How Hearing Aids Make the Holidays Easier
Modern hearing aids don’t just amplify sounds. They have the ability to filter out unwanted noise, such as the clanking of dishes or background music when you’re out having a holiday happy hour at Green Pig Bistro. This lets you better focus on what’s really important, the conversations happening with your friends and loved ones at your table.
Practice Good Communication Strategies
While using hearing aids is essential to better communication, it’s still helpful to also practice communication strategies that can enhance your hearing abilities. These may include:
- Positioning yourself at a spot on the table where you can see as many faces as possible
- Making a room brighter so that you can see people better
- Asking people to look directly at you and not cover their mouths when speaking to you
- Moving to a quieter corner of the room to engage in conversation
- Considering making any dining reservations at restaurants for nonpeak hours and take breaks by stepping outside if it gets too loud
- Turning down the music or keeping the television low with the captions on to minimize background noise
- Using hand signals like cupping your hand around your ear if you didn’t hear something, as this is an easy visual cue that you need someone to speak up
- Removing candles and other decorations from the table that may block people’s faces, which may make it harder to see them when they speak
Be Open and Patient When it Comes to Hearing Loss
Large gatherings and lots of socializing can be overwhelming for everyone. Even with hearing aids and the right communication strategies, hearing loss can speed up listening fatigue. If you need to, take a break, and go for a walk outside. You could go alone or have one or two people come with you for the chance to connect in a quieter environment.
If you’re struggling to hear, be patient and simply let other guests know if there’s anything they can do to accommodate you. After all, they want you to enjoy the celebrations just as much as you do, and a few small changes can often make a world of difference.
For more information on improving your hearing this holiday season, call the experts at ENT Specialists Of Northern Virginia today.