For people with hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be a challenge. Everybody is conversing loudly and at the same time.
It becomes even harder for individuals who have hearing loss when you add other noises like background music, chairs scraping, and dishes clattering. If you have trouble hearing from one or both ears, or you use a hearing aid, there are several steps you can take to make these big, noisy meals more enjoyable for you and your family.
Before Get-Togethers, Have a Discussion With Your Family
It is essential that you discuss your hearing loss with your family members 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 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.
When You Sit at The Table, Pick a Spot Near The Middle
Family tradition might dictate that you sit at the head or near the end of the table during big meals, but those spots make it harder for you to make out conversations. If you are in the middle of the table, you probably 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 family your preference.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Having hearing loss makes it difficult to filter out background noise and focus on speech which makes it an especially challenging problem. Ask your family to turn the music off or at least lower the volume. At restaurants, ask to be seated away from the kitchen and the speakers.
Technology Can Help
An FM system or a directional microphone are useful solutions if you don’t already have them. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by turning away from it with these technologies.
Don’t Attempt to Bluff Your Way Through
The only way your family will know if you are struggling through a meal is if you inform them. A family get-together is a time for celebration, and your hearing impairment should never stop you from joining in on the fun. Your family members will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you might need to make during your meal.