Don’t Miss Out on Holiday Fun Because of Hearing Loss

Woman with hearing loss feeling isolated during holidays.

When you ponder Thanksgiving, what do you think about besides turkey? Does the cooking and preparing with the family begin days before? While you are following grandma’s classic pecan pie recipe, will you reminisce with each other? It’s warm and comfy because you are together, and a delicious aroma is wafting from the oven. As the family laughs about your son’s latest dating adventure or listens to the grandkids laugh and put on a holiday play, will you be laughing with them? Or are you struggling to catch the punchline of every joke?

Loss of hearing doesn’t need to define the holiday season for you. You can take charge of your holiday experience, from hearing a salesperson at a noisy store to chatting over drinks at the company party. You don’t need to be held hostage by hearing loss. Consider how to get the most out of your holiday despite your loss of hearing. Here are some recommendations.

At Holiday Get-Togethers

Parties may be the most difficult for those with loss of hearing. Here are some tricks that could make the experience less stressful:

  • Request a seat at the center of the table so you don’t feel as isolated.
  • Maybe you could get a friend to pass you notes at a speech instead of whispering in your ears.
  • Use visual clues to let others know what is going on. Something as basic as cupping your hand behind your ear can let someone know you’re having a problem hearing without you needing to tell someone.
  • Stay away from any speakers that might interfere with your hearing aids. Don’t be shy about asking the host to turn down the music so you can hear better.
  • Get a hearing buddy, a friend who sits with you who can repeat important things you missed.
  • Manage Your Expectations. It’s an impractical expectation to think that you will stroll into a party and find everything to be ideal. Things will be more challenging because of your loss of hearing. Just tackle it with a sense of humor and don’t allow the difficulties to cause you stress.
  • Look for areas in the room that have better acoustics–maybe a quiet corner.
  • Be aware of the visual clues. When someone is looking right at you, they are most likely talking to you. If you didn’t hear what they said inform them.
  • Some of the background noise can be blocked if you stand with your back to a wall.
  • Maybe try going out of the room, even if just for a little while. It will allow your brain to have a chance to a rest.

Travel Tips

Hearing loss can make traveling more challenging but don’t allow that to stop you. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these suggestions.

Taking The Train or Flying

If you prefer to fly or ride the rails, it can be hard to hear announcements over the speaker. There are some things you can do to make the trip easier. Finding out 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 get on your phone that shows vital info or visual signs that show oral announcements. They could also offer 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 ask for priority seating. They might also offer to bring you through a select line in security, too. Be certain to inquire a few weeks early if you want to know what is provided.

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 if you want a drink.

Lodging Tips

If you are staying at a hotel, let them know you are hearing impaired when you set your reservation. Many resorts have rooms or devices available for those with hearing loss such as vibrating alarm clocks and phones which flash lights instead of ringing. So they can improve your safety, some places are also set up with alarms that flash lights.

If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials

If this is your first vacation with your hearing aids, you might not be sure what you need to bring with you. Pack these essentials:

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

Wear your hearing aids as you go through security. Taking them out is not required. Also, during a flight, you can leave them in.

And if you don’t already own hearing aids, perhaps it’s time. In the latest hearing aids, there are functions that will eliminate background noise, enhance conversation while amplifying sound. The holidays are a once a year celebration. There is no reason the holidays can’t be everything you remember whether you’ve had hearing loss your whole life or if it’s more recent. Make an appointment with your hearing care professional to find out what your hearing options are.

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