For people who have hearing loss, family meals and gatherings can be a challenge. Everybody is conversing loudly and at the same time.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a scenario in which it is challenging for individuals with hearing loss to have a good time. There are a few ways you can make these noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a hard time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Have a Talk With Your Loved Ones First
Before everybody gets together, it’s important that you help your family make adjustments by talking about your hearing loss with them. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating simpler like facing you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everybody even if the conversation is a bit awkward.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
Sometimes, it’s tradition to sit at a particular 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 near the middle. If you are in the middle of the table, you likely will not have to strain as much to hear what people are saying. 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 can be a major issue for people with hearing loss because it’s hard for their ears to filter out this noise and concentrate on speech. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least reduce the volume. If you are in a restaurant, ask to be seated as far away from speakers as you can and away from loud spots, such as close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
Look at New Technologies
An FM system or a directional microphone are helpful options if you don’t already have them. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it using these technologies.
Trying to Bluff Your Way Through Isn’t Good Plan
The only way your family will know if you’re struggling through a meal is if you let them know. A family gathering is a time for celebration, and your hearing loss should never stop you from joining in on the fun. If there are adjustments needed mid-meal, your family will be happy to help out.