Head of Customer Content Experience
Audiology Expert & Founder
The festive period can be a busy and noisy time, and it can be challenging for people with hearing loss to fully participate in the celebrations. Usually, there are social gatherings to attend at Christmas, which can lead to challenging listening situations.
However, there are a few strategies that you can use to help you get the most out of your hearing during this time for those who have hearing loss. This article focuses on those challenges and how to overcome them with simple tips from our experts.
One strategy is to communicate with your loved ones, in advance, about your hearing needs. Remind them, if they don't already, that you have hearing loss and ask them to speak clearly, slowly, and face you when they are speaking. You could also ask them to use visual cues, such as pointing or gesturing, to help you understand what is being said.
Turning down the volume of any background music or other audio in the room will make the general sound level as low as possible. This will, in turn, provide a better environment to follow and partake in social activities and conversation.
If you are an existing hearing aid wearer, consider purchasing assistive listening devices if you don't already have them. These devices can help to amplify sound and improve speech understanding, which can be especially useful in noisy environments.
Beneficial hearing aid accessories such as remote microphones can bring clarity and focus within busy dinner parties and bustling restaurants.
If you don't have hearing aids, consider using earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to help reduce background noise. However, if you think your hearing has declined - I would recommend contacting a local audiologist for a hearing consultation as soon as you can to see how well you're currently hearing.
It can also be helpful to choose your seating carefully. Try to sit in a location that is away from loud speakers or other sources of noise, and try to sit where you can see everyone's face. This can help to improve your ability to understand what is being said, as it will be so much easier to hear conversation rather than noise.
Make sure you have good lighting and remove any distracting decorations off the table, so you are able to see all your guest's faces and catch those visual cues. If you're not hosting, let the host(s) know how they can help you hear better and get the most out of the occasion.
Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help if you are having trouble hearing or understanding. Ask people to repeat themselves, or ask them to write down what they are saying. By being proactive and communicating your needs, you can help to ensure that you can fully participate in the festivities.
A lot of our patients "buddy up" at Christmas gatherings with someone they trust. Their buddy can repeat anything that they didn't hear well or fully understand. Patients often say it makes them feel more confident in their social listening experiences and helps them to feel more involved in the conversation.
During the throws of Christmas, most audiologists will not be available for hearing healthcare support. If you have any hearing aid troubleshooting problems during this time, you might find the manufacturer's website a useful resource, as they answer the most common hearing aid FAQs.
By following these simple tips, you can fully engage and not miss those special memories and moments Christmas brings.
If you feel like your hearing has worsened, we advise that you check how well you're hearing with an audiologist as soon as you can.
For any support, advice, or hearing healthcare enquiries, please call us free on 0800 567 7621
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