For people who have hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be a challenge. Everyone is conversing loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even more difficult for people with hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. If you have difficulty hearing from one or both ears, or you wear a hearing aid, there are several steps you can take to make these big, noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
It is important that you talk about your hearing loss with your family before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you deal with the background noise. They can then explain it to their children and other members of the family, so people know, for instance, to try and face you when they are speaking. It will make the meal much more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a certain 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 near the middle. If you’re in the middle of the table, you likely won’t have to strain 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 people with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and concentrate on speech. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least decrease the volume. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
If you don’t already have them, think about investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by turning away from it using these technologies.
Don’t Try to Bluff Your Way Through
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t inform them. A family get-together is a time to celebrate, and your hearing impairment should never stop you from joining in on the fun. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your loved ones will be glad to help out.