How to Hear Better at Holiday Meals

“Family

For people with hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be challenging. Everybody is conversing loudly and at the same time.

Combine that with the clanging of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a scenario in which it is challenging for individuals with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. There are a few ways you can make these loud gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a hard time hearing out of one or both ears or if you wear a hearing aid.

Before Get-Togethers, Have a Discussion With Your Family

It is essential that you discuss your hearing loss with your family before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you cope with the background noise. They can then discuss it with their children and other members of the family, so people know, for instance, to try and face you when they are talking. It might seem like an uncomfortable discussion to have, but it makes the meal much more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively engage.

Sit in The Middle of The Table

Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a particular 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 near the middle. You won’t have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Make sure you speak up and let your family know if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.

Request a Lower Music Volume

Having hearing loss makes it difficult to filter out background noise and focus on speech which makes it an especially challenging issue. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least lower the volume. If you are in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as possible and away from loud spots, like near the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.

Technology Can Help

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 turning away from it using these technologies.

Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through

The only way your family will know if you’re struggling through a meal is if you inform them. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your family will be glad to give you a hand.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.