For people who have hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be challenging. Everybody is conversing loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even more difficult for people who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. If you have a hard time hearing from one or both ears, or you wear a hearing aid, there are a few steps you can take to make these big, noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
It is crucial that you discuss your hearing loss with your family before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you deal with the background noise. They can then explain it to their children and other members of the family, so everyone will know, for instance, to try and face you when they are speaking. It will make the meal much more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
Sit in The Center of The Table
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a certain spot 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 in the middle. If you are in the middle of the table, you probably won’t 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 be shy about telling your loved ones your preference.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise can be a major challenge for individuals with hearing loss because it is hard for their ears to filter out this noise and focus in on speech. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least reduce the volume. At restaurants, try to sit away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Think About New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, consider investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by facing away from it and amplifying the voices you need to hear to make out a conversation.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
Your family members won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t inform them. A family gathering is a time to celebrate, and your hearing impairment should never stop you from getting in on the fun. Your loved ones will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.