For people with hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be a challenge. Not only do several people tend to talk at the same time in these situations, but they also raise their voices to be heard over one another.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is challenging for people with hearing loss to have a good time. There are a number of ways you can make these loud gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a difficult time hearing out of one or both ears or if you wear a hearing aid.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
It is crucial that you talk about your hearing loss with your family before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you cope with the background noise. They can then explain it to their children and other family members, so everyone will know, for instance, to try and face you when they are talking. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
Sit in The Middle of The Table
Family tradition might stipulate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those spots make it more difficult for you to make out conversations. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Make sure you speak up and tell your family if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.
Ask That The Music be Turned Down
Having hearing loss makes it hard to filter out background noise and focus on speech which makes it an especially challenging issue. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least lower the volume. If you are in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as possible and away from noisy spots, such as close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
Technology Can Help
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful solutions if you don’t already have them. Both of these technologies can help you isolate background noise by turning away from it and amplifying the voices you need to hear to understand a conversation.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
Your loved ones won’t know you’re struggling to hear if you don’t inform them. A family get-together is a time for celebration, and your hearing loss should never prevent you from joining in on the fun. Your family members will be happy to help you with any adjustments you may need to make during your meal.