For people who have hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be challenging. Everyone is speaking loudly and at the same time.
Combine that with the clanging of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is hard 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.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
Before everyone gathers, it’s important that you help your family make adjustments by talking about your hearing loss with them. They can then discuss it with their children and other members of the family, so everyone will know, for example, to try and look at you when they are speaking. It may seem like an uncomfortable conversation 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 certain spot at the table, but the best place 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. If you are in the middle of the table, you probably won’t have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a place at the table you know is best for you, don’t hesitate to tell your family your preference.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Background noise can be a considerable challenge for individuals with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on speech. If you are at a family get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful solutions if you don’t already have them. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by facing away from it and boosting the voices you want to hear to understand a conversation.
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 inform them. A family get-together is a time for celebration, and your hearing impairment should never prevent you from joining in on the fun. Your loved ones will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you might need to make during your meal.