Don’t Allow Hearing Loss to Keep You Hostage This Holiday Season

Woman with hearing loss feeling isolated during holidays.

When you think about Thanksgiving, what do you think about other than turkey? Does the cooking and preparing with the family start days before? Will you reminisce with each other while following grandma’s classic homemade pecan pie recipe? It’s warm and comfy because you are together, and a delicious 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 laughing and playing. Or are you struggling to hear what everyone is talking about?

The holiday doesn’t need to be defined for you by hearing loss. From talking over drinks at the company party to hearing the salesperson over the din of holiday shoppers, you can take control of how you experience the holidays this season. You don’t have to be held hostage by loss of hearing. Consider some tips that will allow you to enjoy the holidays despite your hearing loss.

Those Holiday Get-Togethers

Get-togethers might be the most challenging for those with hearing loss. To make the experience less stressful, here are some tricks:

  • Some of the background noise can be blocked if you stand with your back to a wall.
  • Provide some visual signs of your own. 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.
  • Maybe you could get a friend to pass you notes at a speech rather than whispering in your ears.
  • Find areas in the room that have better acoustics–maybe a quiet corner.
  • If there are any speakers that might interfere with your hearing aids, move away from them. Don’t be shy about asking the host to turn down the music so you can hear better.
  • Request a seat at the center of the table so you don’t feel so isolated.
  • Manage Your Expectations. It’s pointless walking into a party and expecting everything to be perfect. Your hearing loss will definitely make things more challenging. Just approach it with a sense of humor and don’t allow the difficulties to cause you stress.
  • Enlist a hearing buddy, a friend who sits with you who can repeat important things you missed.
  • Go out of the room every now and then. It will give your brain an opportunity to a rest.
  • Be aware of the visual clues. Someone is probably talking to you if they are looking right at you. If you didn’t hear what they said tell them.

Travel Tips

Don’t allow the obstacles of hearing loss to stop you from traveling. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these suggestions.

Taking The Train or Flying

It can be challenging to hear the announcements over the speaker if you are going on a plane or taking a train. If you want to make the trip better there are some things that can be done. Finding out if the airport or train station offers any special services for the hearing impaired is the first step. There may be an app you can get on your phone that shows vital information or visual signs that show oral announcements. They could also provide priority boarding, for instance, or a sign language interpreter if you need one. If being close enough to lip read or ask questions is essential, you can request priority seating. They might offer to bring you through a select line in security, too. You won’t know what is offered until you ask, but do it a few weeks before you go.

Be sure the attendants are aware that you have hearing loss when you board. That way they will know to tap you on the shoulder if you fail to answer when they ask you about a drink.

Lodging Tips

When you reserve your hotel room, inform them you are hearing impaired. Many resorts have rooms or devices available for those with hearing loss like vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing. So they can improve your safety, some spots are also set up with alarms that flash lights.

What Hearing Aid Essentials to Pack

If this is your first trip with your hearing aids, you may not be certain what you need to bring with you. Pack these essentials:

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

Keep your hearing aids in as you pass security. You do not need to remove them. Also, during a flight, you can leave them in.

Lastly, if you don’t have hearing aids, perhaps it’s time. In the newer hearing aids, there are features that will eliminate background noise, enhance conversation while amplifying sound. The holidays are a once a year celebration. There isn’t any reason the holidays can’t be all that you remember whether you’ve had hearing loss your whole life or if it’s more recent. To help you know what your hearing options are, make an appointment with a hearing care professional.

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