For people with hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be challenging. Everyone is conversing loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for individuals who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. 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.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
Before everybody gathers, it’s essential that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing loss with them. 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 speaking. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit difficult.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
Family tradition might dictate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those spots make it more difficult for you to hear conversations. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. If there is a spot at the table you know is best for you, don’t hesitate to tell your family your preference.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise can be a major issue for people with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on speech. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least reduce the volume. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful options 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 need to hear to make out a conversation.
Attempting to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
The only way your loved ones will know if you’re struggling through a meal is if you let them know. A family get-together is a time to celebrate, and your hearing impairment should never stop you from joining in on the fun. Your loved ones will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.