For many, the holiday season is filled with friends, family and fun. But for the hearing impaired, this time can be overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be. With the right preparation and expectations, you can enjoy the holiday festivities relatively stress-free.
Social gatherings usually include crowded or limited space, multiple conversations, and high noise levels. For the hearing impaired, including those who wear hearing aids, these things can make for an uncomfortable experience. For instance, if you have Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) or Unilateral Hearing Loss, multiple conversations and sounds happening at once will make it harder for you to focus, understand, and interact with others during the event. For hearing aid wearers, the high levels of noise could be bothersome if your devices are outdated or not equipped to adjust to different noise levels.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat the challenges of dealing with hearing loss during the holidays. Use these tips to ensure a joyous holiday season:
- Inform your loved ones about your hearing loss and how their interaction with you may be different. When people are informed, they have a better understanding of how to help make your interaction better.
- Pick a less noisy environment. This will make it easier to engage with your loved ones because there will be less distractions and strain on your ears.
- Choose the best seat for you. If you normally read lips to help with your hearing, choosing a seat in a well-lit area is best. If possible, choose a seat that is away from the crowd or noisy areas like kitchens or walkways. Also, sitting next to someone who understands your hearing loss is both helpful and comforting.
- Make sure your hearing aids are up-to-date, clean and the batteries are fully charged.
You can also be a great resource to loved ones who are dealing with untreated hearing loss. For instance, if you notice someone having trouble keeping up with conversations, they may be exhibiting signs of hearing loss. Here are a few ways you can help them conquer this and enjoy the event:
- Be patient with them. You may have to repeat yourself a few times but try not to get frustrated with them. If you show frustration you may make them feel worse and encourage a negative experience.
- Speak in a normal tone but speak clearly. Yelling is impolite and can make their hearing worse.
- Pay attention to them. This will help them feel as if they are part of the conversation and make them feel less stressed in the situation.
- Encourage your loved one to get their hearing tested and treated. Share your experience and the benefits of your hearing loss treatment.
For questions or more tips on handling your hearing loss, contact the experts at New Generation Hearing Centers today.