For people who have hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be challenging. Everybody is speaking loudly and at the same time.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a scenario in which it is hard for people with hearing loss to have a good time. There are a number of ways you can make these noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a tough time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
Before everyone 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 family members, so everyone will know, for example, to try and look at you when they are talking. It might seem like an awkward conversation to have, but it makes the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone when you can actively participate.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Center
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a particular place 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 will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Be certain you speak up and let your family know if there is a spot 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. If you are at a family gathering, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. At restaurants, ask to be seated away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful solutions if you don’t already have them. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by facing away from it and amplifying the voices you need to hear to understand a conversation.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t inform them. A family gathering is a time for celebration, and your hearing impairment should never prevent 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.