The holidays are fast approaching! If you are affected by hearing loss, you may not be looking forward to the gatherings and parties as much as you used to. This time of year can bring up some anxiety for people hearing loss. You or your loved ones may worry about how well you can communicate during family gatherings, or fear being embarrassed. Background noise and many conversations require constant attention, and this can be very tiring and overwhelming.
It may be enough for you to want to opt out of holiday festivities altogether. But don’t miss out on all of the fun! There are a few simple things you can do to get the most out of your holidays, even if you suffer from hearing loss.
Let the Host Know
Before the party even begins, let the host of the party know you are struggling. Let them know that you are a bit self-conscious and you just want them to be aware of your hearing loss issues. That way, they can help facilitate a better experience for you by giving you particular seats at the dinner table, for example.
Ask for Brighter Lights and Lowered Background Music
Holiday gatherings, particularly at night, may have low lights and background music that can make it difficult for you to hear or communicate. Suggest that the host brighten the atmosphere and turn down the music a bit. This will make communication easier for everyone at the party, particularly you!
Keep it Separated
If there are a few different things going on at the gathering, suggest they all be sectioned off into different areas of the space. For example, karaoke in one room, the meal or buffet in another room, dancing in another room, and games in a different room. This will keep the background noise to a minimum and help to preserve your sanity when trying to interact at the party.
If you start to feel fatigued or overwhelmed, take a time out and go sit somewhere quiet for a few minutes. Hearing struggles introduce difficulty communicating, so gatherings may be a greater effort than it used to be. After your little break you will probably feel more refreshed, and ready to celebrate again.
Get a Good Seat!
Ask the host if you can sit in the middle of the dinner table instead of on the end so you can hear all of the conversation better. Your family may put you at the end of the table as a place of honor, so letting them know you’d like to be in the middle will help them with the arrangements.
If you keep communication in mind and involve your host, you will have a much better experience and won’t need to fret about gatherings this holiday season.
Remember that the first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.
Diablo Hearing Services 2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon (925) 394-4646