HEARING TIPS

Don’t Lose Out on Holiday Fun Because of Hearing Loss

Woman with hearing loss feeling isolated during holidays.

Other than turkey, what do you think about when a person talks about Thanksgiving? Do you begin days before, cooking and preparing with your family? While you follow grandma’s famous pecan pie recipe, will you catch up with each other? It’s warm and relaxing because you are together, and a yummy aroma is wafting from the oven. As the family laughs about your son’s latest girlfriend or watch the grandkids laugh and put on a holiday play, will you be enjoying with them? Or are you struggling to catch the punchline of every joke?

The holiday doesn’t have to be defined for you by loss of hearing. From chatting over drinks at the company get together to hearing the salesperson over the din of holiday shoppers, you can take charge of how you experience the holidays this year. Hearing loss doesn’t need to hold you hostage. Consider how to get the most out of your holiday in spite of your hearing loss. Here are some recommendations.

Those Holiday Gatherings

For people with hearing loss, get-togethers may be the biggest challenge. To make the experience less stressful, here are some suggestions:

  • Perhaps there is a quiet place in the room that has better acoustics where you can go.
  • Your expectations have to be managed. It’s pointless walking into a party and expecting everything to go perfectly. Things will be more difficult because of your loss of hearing. Just approach it with a sense of humor and don’t allow the difficulties to cause you stress.
  • Stand away from any speakers that may interfere with your hearing aids. If the music is loud, ask the host to turn it down a bit so you can hear better, too.
  • Request a seat at the center of the table so you don’t feel as isolated.
  • In order to get things you might have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
  • Maybe you could get a friend to pass you notes at a speech rather than whispering in your ears.
  • Visual clues should be carefully noted. When someone is looking right at you, they are most likely speaking to you. If you didn’t hear what they said tell them.
  • Use visual clues to let others know what is happening. You don’t have to point it out. Something as basic as cupping your hand behind your ear can tell someone you’re having a hard time.
  • Step out of the room every now and then. It will give your brain a chance to a rest.
  • Some of the background noise can be blocked if you stand with your back to a wall.

Travel Tips

Don’t allow the difficulties of hearing loss to get in the way of your travels. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these tips.

Taking The Train or Flying

It can be hard to hear the announcements over the loudspeaker if you are going on a plane or taking a train. There are some things you can do to make the trip smoother. Start off by checking with the airport to see if they provide any special services for the hearing impaired. They may have special signs that visually show oral announcements or apps you can download on your phone to see track changes or other vital information. They may even provide a sign language interpreter or priority boarding. You can ask for priority seating if being close enough to ask questions or read lips. They might also offer to take you through a select line in security, too. You won’t know what is possible until you ask, but do it a few weeks before you go.

Be certain the attendants know you have hearing loss when you board. That way if you don’t answer when they ask about a drink, they will know to tap you on the shoulder to make sure.

Lodging Tips

When you reserve your hotel room, let them know you are hearing impaired. Many resorts have rooms or devices available for those with hearing loss like vibrating alarm clocks and phones which flash lights instead of ringing. In order to improve your safety, some spots also have alarms that flash lights.

What Hearing Aid Essentials to Bring

If this is your first vacation with your hearing aids, you might not be certain what you need to take with you. Pack these essentials:

  • Replacement batteries or a second charger
  • Additional accessories
  • A cleaning kit

As you go through security keep your hearing aids in. Removing them is not necessary. Also, during a flight, you can leave them in.

And if you don’t already own hearing aids, maybe it’s time. There are features in quality hearing aids that can amplify sound while enhancing conversations and getting rid of background noise. The holidays only come once a year. Whether you have had hearing loss most of your life or just got them, there is no reason the holidays can’t be all that you remember. To help you know what your hearing solutions are, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.

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