Don’t let hearing loss keep you from enjoying holiday parties and family gatherings. Prep for parties and set reasonable expectations so you can enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.
Virtual Holiday Parties
You may opt to join a holiday party remotely this year. Test-drive video chats like FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Hangout before the party. Turn on the closed captions to clarify conversations and make sure the other speakers have good lighting on their faces so you can read lips.
Ask our audiologists about hearing aids with Bluetooth connectivity. You may be able to stream audio right to your hearing aids for easier conversations.
Before The Party
Put a little work in before you head to a party to ensure maximum holiday joy. Clean your hearing aids and check that wiring and tubing are operational. Recharge or exchange hearing aid batteries or pack extra batteries to take with you to the event.
Adjust your hearing aid to different listening environments to determine the best setting for a holiday gathering. Meet with the host before the get-together and explain your needs. Find the best seating arrangement and ask them about turning down the volume on music or TVs.
At A Gathering
You’re at the party, so now it’s time to find the right spot to chat. Avoid the kitchen and dining room before dinner. Clanging dishes, running water, and moving chairs create excess ambient noise. Find a quiet room to have one-on-one conversations. Room with couches and curtains are better for listening since the fabric absorbs echoes.
Ask a family member to help guide you through conversations if you continue to struggle. Don’t be afraid to ask others to repeat themselves and give visual cues – like cupping your ear – to indicate they need to speak louder.
In A Restaurant
Restaurant noise is unavoidable, but using assistive listening devices can ease the strain on your ears. FM systems reduce background noise so you can focus on voices and table mics pick up the voices of multiple people at your table.
Sit in the middle of the table if you want to stay engaged in different conversations. Get a person’s attention before speaking to them so you can read lips and use visual cues. Ask others to do the same for you, so you don’t miss their questions.