For people with hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be challenging. Not only do several people often talk at the same time in these situations, but they also raise their voices to be heard over one another.
It becomes even more difficult for people who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, dishes clattering, and chairs scraping. If you have difficulty hearing from one or both ears, or you use a hearing aid, there are several steps you can take to make these big, noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family.
Before Gatherings, Have a Discussion With Your Family
Before everybody gets together, it’s essential 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 easier like looking at you when they talk. It may seem like an uncomfortable discussion to have, but it makes the meal much more enjoyable for everybody when you can actively participate.
Sit in The Center of The Table
In some cases, it’s tradition to sit at a certain place at the table, but the best spot 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 are in the middle of the table, you likely will not have to struggle as much to hear what people are saying. If there is a spot at the table you know is best for you, don’t hesitate to tell your loved ones your preference.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Having hearing loss makes it hard to filter out background noise and focus on conversation which makes it an especially challenging issue. If you are at a family get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low volume. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
If you don’t already have them, consider investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it with these technologies.
Attempting to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
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 loss should never stop you from getting in on the fun. If there are adjustments you need to make mid-meal, your loved ones will be glad to help out.