Not sure about you, but we can’t believe it’s already December! For many of us, this means a month of office parties, family get-togethers and festive nights out at Huber’s Café.
While the holiday seasons bring about a lot of joy, they can also cause a fair amount of stress. This is especially true if you’re one of the 15% of American adults who report some degree of hearing loss.
Why Hearing Loss Can Make the Holidays Harder
Hearing loss affects your ability to understand speech. This can lead to frequent misinterpretations or cause you to miss certain parts of conversations. It can especially be difficult to hear in louder environments with lots of background noise.
Holiday gatherings can pose challenges due to things like music playing, multiple people talking at once and dishes clanking in the background.
People with hearing loss may feel frustrated or isolated from not being able to follow conversations or frequently asking others to repeat themselves. Some might even prefer to stay home and skip out on celebrations rather than deal with the stress of not being able to hear properly. This can lead to isolation and loneliness and put a strain on your relationships.
Hearing Aids and Other Communication Strategies Can Help You Connect
Thankfully, hearing loss doesn’t have to keep you from missing out on the holiday fun. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy gathering with others this season:
- Get a hearing test. The earlier your hearing loss is diagnosed, the better the treatment outcome will likely be.
- Wear your hearing aids as recommended. Ask your audiologist about settings that can make it even easier to suppress background noise and make it easier to focus on conversation in louder environments.
- Find the right environment. While you may not always get to decide where holiday gatherings take place if you do have input, recommend quieter places with good lighting. If you’re at a public place like a restaurant, try to request a table in the corner, far away from the kitchen, as this will likely be quieter.
- Pick the right seat. Try to position yourself so you can see as many faces as possible when sitting at the table. Also, try to ensure that any music or other background noise is coming from behind you. Directional microphones in hearing aids are best at picking up noise in front of you.
- Be open about your hearing needs. Don’t be afraid to tell others what you need to communicate better, whether that’s making sure they are looking at you when they speak, moving to a quieter part of the room, or repeating or rephrasing what they said if you missed something.
Treating your hearing loss and practicing good communication strategies can keep you connected to your friends and loved ones this season and throughout the rest of the year.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call PDX ENT today.