Hear for the Holidays: 10 Tips for Those with Hearing Loss
The hustle-bustle of the holiday season is upon us! Stores are playing festive jingles and offering sweet treats at every corner. From decorating our homes to planning parties, our days are busy. Among all this excitement, we must remember to slow down and appreciate time with family and friends.
A survey performed in 2020 discovered that 50% of families celebrate the holidays with a friend or family member with hearing loss, and 30% of those friends wear hearing aids. Before your next party, consider the tips below to help yourself and others hear well for the holiday season.
TIPS FOR HEARING AID USERS
1. Schedule an appointment for a hearing aid cleaning/fine-tuning.
Sometimes, a simple cleaning can drastically improve the sound quality of your devices. After the cleaning, your audiologist will also look inside your ears to ensure they’re not impacted with wax.
2. Discuss concerns about your devices.
When you meet with your audiologist, discuss any problems you’ve noticed with your hearing aids. Hearing aid technology is complex—with dozens of settings and adjustments. Trust your audiologist to optimize these settings to fit your listening needs.
3. Use free resources.
Some apps can connect your hearing aids to your smartphone—and they are completely free! Enjoy the ease of changing volume, adjusting programs, or using special microphone features with the push of a button!
4. Consider other accessories.
Many accessories compatible with your hearing aids can provide a better listening experience. Ask your audiologist about your options if you’d like to learn more!
5. Wear your hearing aids consistently.
Wearing your hearing aids should become a routine. The average user should wear them during all waking hours of the day—generally around 12 hours. The more you wear your hearing aids, the more you exercise your auditory system and prepare for more difficult hearing environments.
Note: If you’re on the road traveling, don’t forget to bring your hearing aid’s batteries or charger!
TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN HOSTING SOMEONE WITH HEARING LOSS
1. Cater to the crowd.
Grandchildren, football fanatics, and conversationalists—the guests are as different as their communication styles. Consider playing the game in a separate room to not distract others who are talking.
2. Reduce background noise.
If children will be attending, consider placing them at a separate table to reduce excess noise. If there is a TV or music on in the background, consider lowering the volume or completely turning it off.
3. Plan your dinner table setup.
People with hearing loss tend to hear better when seated at circular tables. Sitting closer together produces better sound quality and makes visual cues more noticeable.
4. Reduce visual distractions.
Although beautiful flower arrangements are a decorative marvel, think about moving them to an area that won’t interfere with seeing people. These objects can create visual barriers that hide facial cues.
5. Postpone washing the dishes.
Running water and clanking dishes can be noisy! If people are still talking, leave the cleaning up until after they leave.
We hope that you and your family can create fond memories this holiday season. ‘Tis the season for spending time with loved ones, counting blessings, and being thankful for what we have!
If you would like to schedule an appointment before the hustle-bustle of the season, please contact our office at (260) 471-5693. Or, if you or your family member is concerned about hearing loss, do not hesitate to reach out to us. You deserve to hear your best for the holidays.
Clason, Debbie. “Make Your Holiday Dinner Hearing Loss Friendly.” Healthy Hearing, 17 Dec. 2018, https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52333-How-to-make-your-holiday-dinner-hearing-friendly.