Sounds make up a cornerstone of most people’s holiday memories, from the sweet strains of Christmas carols to the sounds of excited children tearing into Christmas presents. But those sounds can become lost when an individual suffers from hearing loss.
Instead of the feelings of warmth and inclusion which characterize many holiday gatherings, those with hearing loss are left on the fringes. Even with hearing aids to assist, hearing well among crowds can be difficult.
To help make sure everyone can fully participate in the joy of the season, Hearing Associates of Las Vegas wanted to offer some advice for how those with hearing aids can improve their listening techniques and how those with hearing impaired loved ones can help them feel more included.
Holiday Listening Tips For Those With Hearing Aids
If you wear hearing aids, there are listening strategies you can implement to tune into the holiday conversations and fun around you.
- Wear your hearing aids – It may seem obvious, but it is essential that you keep your hearing aids charged and in your ears. Some people take out their hearing aids, citing that crowds were too loud to use hearing aids. But this can leave you adrift as people try to engage you in one-on-one conversations. Turning down your hearing aids or switching to a quieter program can help during the loud moments while still helping you enjoy everyone around you.
- Work with a listening buddy – Having someone designated as your “listening buddy” can be an enormous help. People with normal hearing can find hearing during the holidays difficult, so by having someone who can help tell you when someone is trying to catch your attention or relay information, can make a huge difference in your enjoyment.
- Be careful what you drink – Alcoholic drinks are common throughout the winter holidays, but these drinks can interfere with your ability to hear well.
- Choose your seat carefully – During a holiday gathering, whether a holiday party or company dinner, your ability to hear may depend on where you sit. Be sure you sit away from the music, with at least one wall near you. It will help keep sounds from coming at you from all angles. Also, make sure your listening buddy sits near you.
- Take listening breaks – To help you reacclimate to sounds, it is important to take listening breaks where you go somewhere quieter and rest your ears. That way, you can rejoin the holiday gathering with a renewed sense of peace and hearing.
Ways To Help Those With Hearing Loss Enjoy The Holidays
If you have a loved one who struggles with hearing loss, there are steps you can take to improve their ability to hearing and enjoy the holidays.
- Turn down background music – While background music is a great way to bring in the holiday cheer, it can also add extra noise pollution for someone who has hearing aids. If you do want the music to play, keep it soft, so people don’t feel the need to shout over the music.
- Plan the seating – Taking into account your loved one’s hearing loss, you can help them to a seat where they will be able to hear well. Position them away from the younger, louder members of the holiday party and ensure they have a comfortable spot where less sound comes at them.
- Keep extra noises to a minimum – Whether it’s gathering wrapping paper or washing dishes, it is essential to keep the extra noises to a minimum to help someone with hearing loss. That way, they aren’t overwhelmed with sounds which can cover the conversations they are trying to hear.
To ensure that your hearing is ready to enjoy the holidays, contact us. We offer complimentary hearing tests and can help you make sure you can catch every sound of the holidays with the best hearing possible.