The holidays are a time when family and friends get together, enjoy each other’s company, and play catch up. However, whenever you get a group of people together, it can get loud, deafening even. In these situations, it can be hard for anyone to hear, let alone a person with impaired hearing. For those with hearing loss, the holidays can be a frustrating, emotional, and anxiety-provoking time. So much so, that they rather hermit themselves away than join in on the holiday activities. Having a hard time conversing with others can quickly leave a person feeling detached and overwhelmed, and nobody should ever have to feel this way, especially during the holidays.
Don’t let hearing loss put a damper on your holiday fun. With a bit of foresight and planning, you can still enjoy the holidays, while catching up with loved ones. Follow these simple holiday hearing tips to make it easier to hear others this holiday season.
Let Others Know
Don’t feel shy or awkward telling others about your hearing impairment. When you are in a group setting, and it’s noisy, there’s no reason to hide your hearing loss. When people know what’s going on, they can become more aware of how they are speaking, and typically won’t mind if you ask them to repeat themselves. Also, if you happen to hear better in one ear over the other, people who realize this will know to speak on your strong side. But they can only do this if you let others know!
Come prepared, and if you have hearing aids, wear them! Just make sure you bring extra batteries, just in case. Wearing your hearing aids will help you stay engaged in conversations, so make sure you use them. The same rule applies to any assistive listening devices, if you have them, bring them and use them. Otherwise bringing along a good old fashioned notebook and pen can work wonders in helping you stay engaged.
Try to arrive as early as possible so you can get the best seat in the house. Having the ability to pick out your seat can help you limit the number of sounds around you, limiting the number of distractions and the overall commotion of the holidays. Since the holidays are never quiet, pick a seat that’s away from the kid’s table, the television, and the kitchen. If possible, sit with your back to the wall so the sounds can bounce off the wall, and so you can get a good look at everyone’s faces.
Take It Easy
Remember, the holidays should be an enjoyable time, so take it easy. It doesn’t matter if you wear hearing aids or not, or if you are new to hearing aids or an experienced user, it is crucial that you go easy on yourself and take periodic breaks. These breaks don’t need to be long, but giving your brain a break for a few minutes will help keep you energized and focused. If you start to feel fatigued and overwhelmed, go sit in a quiet place for 5 minutes or so to recharge.