For people with hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be challenging. Not only do several people often talk at the same time in these settings, but they also raise their voices to be heard over each other.
Combine that with the clanging of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is challenging for people with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. There are a number of ways you can make these loud gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a difficult time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Before Get-Togethers, Have a Discussion With Your Family
It is essential that you talk about your hearing loss with your family before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you cope with the background noise. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating simpler like looking at you when they talk. It may seem like an awkward discussion to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively participate.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
Family tradition might dictate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those spots make it more difficult for you to hear conversations. If you’re in the middle of the table, you likely won’t have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. Be certain you speak up and tell your family if there is a spot at the table that’s best for you.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise poses a considerable problem for individuals with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on speech. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least reduce the volume. If you are in a restaurant, ask to be seated as far away from speakers as possible and away from loud places, like near the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
Look at New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, think about purchasing directional microphones or an FM system. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it using these technologies.
Don’t Try to Bluff Your Way Through
Your loved ones won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t let them know. A family gathering is a time for celebration, and your hearing loss should never prevent you from getting in on the fun. Your family members will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.