Don’t Let Hearing Loss Stop You From Having Fun This Holiday Season

Woman with hearing loss feeling isolated during holidays.

Other than turkey, what do you think about when someone talks about Thanksgiving? Do you begin days before, cooking and preparing with the family? Will you catch up with each other as you follow grandma’s famous homemade pecan pie recipe? It’s warm and comfortable because you are together, and a yummy aroma is wafting from the oven. Will you be laughing while the family enjoys hearing about your son’s grades or listening to the grandkids laugh and play. Or are you struggling to catch the punchline of every joke?

The holiday doesn’t need to be defined for you by loss of hearing. From talking over drinks at the company get together to hearing the salesperson over the loud holiday shoppers, you can take charge of how you experience the holidays this season. Hearing loss doesn’t need to hold you hostage. Think about some tips that will help you to get the most out of the holidays despite your hearing loss.

At Holiday Get-Togethers

For anyone who has loss of hearing, parties may be the biggest challenge. To make the experience less stressful, here are some tricks:

  • Go out of the room every now and then. It will allow your brain to have a chance to a rest.
  • So you can feel less isolated, request a seat near the middle of the table.
  • Find places in the room that have better acoustics–maybe a quiet corner.
  • In order to get things you might have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
  • Visual clues should be carefully observed. When someone is looking at you, they are most likely talking to you. Inform them that you didn’t hear what they said.
  • Maybe you could have a friend pass you notes at a speech instead of whispering in your ears.
  • Manage Your Expectations. It’s an impractical expectation to imagine that you will go into a party and find everything to be ideal. Your loss of hearing will definitely make things more difficult. Don’t allow the difficulties to stress you out, just have a sense of humor about it.
  • Stay away from any speakers that might interfere with your hearing aids. Don’t be afraid to ask the host to turn down the music so you can hear better.
  • Some of the background noise can be prevented if you stand with your back to a wall.
  • Use visual hints to let others know what is happening. Something as basic as cupping your hand behind your ear can tell someone you have difficulty hearing without you having to point it out.

Travel Tips

Don’t permit the obstacles 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

If you prefer to fly or take a train, it can be difficult to hear announcements over the speaker. There are a few things you can do to make the trip smoother. Checking if the airport or train station offers any special services for the hearing impaired is the first step. There might be an app you can download on your phone that shows vital info or visual signs that show oral announcements. They might even provide a sign language interpreter or priority boarding. If being close enough to lip read or ask questions is important, you can request priority seating. They might offer to bring you through a select line in security, too. Be certain to ask a few weeks early if you want to know what is possible.

When you board, be sure the attendants know you have hearing loss. That way if you don’t answer when they ask if you want a drink, they will know to tap you on the shoulder to be 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 including vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing. Some spots are set up with fire alarms that flash the lights, too, to improve your safety while you stay with them.

If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials

You may not be sure what to take with you if this is your first time traveling with your hearing aids. Some essentials to pack include:

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

Keep your hearing aids in as you go through security. You are not expected to remove them. You can keep them in during an air flight, as well.

Finally, if you don’t already have hearing aids, perhaps it’s time. There are features in modern hearing aids that can amplify sound while enhancing conversations and getting rid of background noise. The holidays are a once a year occasion. There is no reason the holidays can’t be all that you remember whether you’ve had hearing loss your whole life or if you are new to it. Schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional to learn what your hearing solutions are.

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