For people with hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be a challenge. Everyone is conversing loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for individuals with hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, dishes clattering, and chairs scraping. There are a few ways you can make these loud gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a tough time hearing out of one or both ears or if you wear a hearing aid.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
Before everybody gathers, it’s important that you help your family make adjustments by discussing your hearing impairment with them. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating smoother like looking at you when they talk. It may seem like an awkward conversation to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively engage.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
In some cases, 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 near the middle. If you’re in the middle of the table, you probably won’t have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. Make sure you speak up and let your family know if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Having hearing loss makes it hard to filter out background noise and focus on speech which makes it an especially challenging problem. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least reduce the volume. At restaurants, ask to be seated away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Consider New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, think about purchasing directional microphones or an FM system. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by facing away from it and boosting the voices you need to hear to understand a conversation.
Don’t Try to Bluff Your Way Through
Your loved ones won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t let them know. A family get-together is a time to celebrate, and your hearing impairment should never prevent you from joining in on the fun. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your family will be glad to help out.