For people with hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be a challenge. Everybody is speaking loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for people who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. There are a number of ways you can make these loud gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a hard time hearing out of one or both ears or if you wear a hearing aid.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
Before everyone 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 will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit difficult.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a certain 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 in the middle. You won’t have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. 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
Background noise poses a significant challenge for people with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on spoken words. If you are at a family get-together, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low background level. If you are in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as possible and away from loud places, like near the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
Look at New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, consider purchasing directional microphones or an FM system. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it using these technologies.
Don’t Try to Bluff Your Way Through
The only way your family will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you tell them. A family get-together is a time to celebrate, and your hearing impairment should never prevent you from getting in on the fun. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your loved ones will be glad to give you a hand.