The holidays can be a difficult time for people with hearing loss. This is because, while holiday parties are a great way to catch up with loved ones, they tend to present challenging listening situations. It’s hard to have a conversation over the sound of others talking, dishes clanking and holiday music playing in the background. Below we review tips for people with hearing loss to communicate better and tips for those who have loved ones with hearing loss to be accommodating.
If You Have Hearing Loss
Follow these communication tips if you suffer from hearing loss:
- Find a quiet space. Even if you’re at a noisy party, chances are you can find a quiet corner away from the kitchen and any speakers. You’ll have better success with your communication partner if you stick to this location.
- Pick a good seat. Sitting at the center of the table ensures you can better follow what everyone at the table is saying. Have a close friend or relative sit next to you who can repeat information for you if necessary.
- Beware the effects of alcohol. While one glass of wine from Santiam Wine & Bistro might help you relax, too much can make you confused and affect your level of understanding. Also, note that alcohol can decrease your ability to hear lower frequency sounds, affecting your ability to discern between certain speech sounds.
- Find a friend. Having a loved one by your side who is knowledgeable about your communication needs can be helpful in terms of making you feel included in the conversation.
- Wear your hearing aids. Perhaps most importantly, you should be sure to wear your hearing aids. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen an audiologist, consider going in for a hearing test to see if they need to be reprogrammed.
If You Have a Loved One with Hearing Loss
There’s a strong chance that someone you love has hearing loss and will be attending your holiday party. Take their needs into account and follow the tips below:
- Keep the music low. If you want to turn on holiday music for ambiance, be sure to keep the volume turned down low so that people don’t need to strain to hear over it.
- Wait to do dishes. While you may be worried about the mess, don’t wash any dishes until after your guests have left, as this noisy activity is hard to converse over.
- Give priority seating. If you’re making seating arrangements in advance, put your guests with hearing loss in the middle of the table so that they can hear all the conversations around them.
For more communication tips or to schedule an appointment, call the hearing experts at Willamette Ear, Nose, Throat and Facial Plastic Surgery today.
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