Hearing Loss and the Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but perhaps hearing loss tends to put a damper in your festive holiday mood. Thankfully, a few simple measures can ensure that your hearing loss does not interfere with your merriment this holiday season.

Whether you are the host or a guest at a holiday party, your hearing loss does not have to stop you from enjoying it to the fullest. The main challenge in these parties are hearing in the presence of background noise such as holiday music, chattering people, and other sounds that parties involve. You may feel lost and confused due to the multiple conversations going on simultaneously. You may even find it difficult to hear due to the loud music in the background. The jostling of people all around during the party may even make it difficult to lip read during conversations.

Over time, you may become hesitant to attend these parties or may simply shy away into a corner and ignore the rest of the crowd to get away from the overwhelming amount of stimuli. Just take a deep breath and read on, for you will find out all you need to do during the party to make yourself comfortable.

As a host, you have a lot more control over the auditory environment during your party. You can arrange the party venue so that the guests have ample space to move around and are not cooped up in only one room. Having enough space will spread out the amount of noise coming from multiple conversations and will make it easier for you to hear.

Alternatively, you can opt for reducing the amount of background music you have. You can switch off your television and play only soft background music in the level which is comfortable for you. Have a separate play area for the kids so that they can have their own space to play without making it difficult for you to hear.

If you are a guest at a party, find a spot that is relatively quiet yet enables you to stay connected with some of the party guests. Find a partner or date with whom you can spend the evening with, and ask for their help to clue you in during hard to hear conversations.

If you are a host or a guest and one of your invitees has hearing loss, you can be more accommodating by keeping the background noise to a minimum. Think of using disposable cutlery to eliminate the constant chinking of silverware against ceramic plates. Also remember to enunciate your words more clearly rather than raising your voice in order to be understood by someone with a hearing problem. Be patient with hearing impaired guests and be ready to rephrase sentences so that they can understand you better.

You can make the most out of this holiday season even if you have hearing loss. Of course, always remember to take steps to address your hearing problem the moment you realize you have one. Ignoring hearing problems can result in serious physical and mental problems, thus timely intervention is highly recommended. Schedule a hearing examination with a hearing care professional the moment you recognize early signs of hearing loss.