For people who have hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be challenging. Everyone is talking loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for people with hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. 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.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
It is important that you discuss your hearing loss with your family members 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 much more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively engage.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a particular place at the table, but the best spot to sit if you want to have an easier time hearing conversation isn’t at the head or near the end of the table, it’s in the middle. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Make sure you speak up and tell your family if there is a spot at the table that’s best for you.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Having hearing loss makes it hard to filter out background noise and focus on conversation which makes it a particularly challenging issue. If you are at a family gathering, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low volume. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Consider New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful options if you don’t already have them. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it with these technologies.
Attempting to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t tell them. A family get-together is a time for celebration, and your hearing loss should never prevent you from joining in on the fun. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your family will be happy to give you a hand.