Handling the Holidays with Hearing Loss
The holidays are a great time to get together with loved ones, but—for people with hearing loss—the celebrations can lead to unnecessary confusion and frustration. Going into this holiday season, we’ve prepared some key considerations before you head to this year’s parties.
Consider these common holiday hearing loss issues:
Background Noise: For people with hearing loss, background noise can make it especially difficult to follow a conversation. If you’re hosting a holiday party, try to keep the background noise to a minimum and, if you have hearing loss, don’t be afraid to ask the host to turn down background music. Hosts often do not realize the effect the music can have for their hard of hearing guests.
Strategic Seating: Sometimes where you’re seatedfor a meal or a party can make all the difference when it comes to hearing loss. Hosts can situate their hard of hearing guests against walls to keep background noise to a minimum. Sitting in the middle of the table can also be helpful for hard of hearing guests, as this allows them to read the lips of other guests more easily.
Close Conversation: If you know that someone at your party has hearing loss, move closer when you try to talk to them. Likewise, if you have hearing loss, don’t begin a conversation from across the room. By making an active effort to keep conversations close, you’ll avoid unnecessarily difficult and frustrating conversations.
Visual Cues: If you’re hard of hearing, be sure to provide other guests with visual cues that you are having a hard time hearing them. Leaning into the conversation and cupping your ear are two common tactics that will subtly let a person know that they aren’t being heard. Looking for visual cues such as this and trying to correct the situation will help hard of hearing guests feel included in the conversation, even if they are having difficulty following it.