Hearing the Holidays
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It’s that time of year when families come together to catch up, share some laughs, and ultimately talk about how the year has gone by too fast. For some, this is a great experience and could even be the highlight of the year. For others, it is a time when those “minor” hearing difficulties can lead to serious anxiety and embarrassment. While it may be true that your nephew is always mumbling, the reality of hearing loss is almost undeniable during the holidays. With plenty of dishes clattering, people talking, and music playing, it can really be difficult to make out what is being said.
Here are some basic communication strategies to get you through the holidays in one piece.
1. Be open about your hearing difficulties
By telling a person at the beginning of a conversation that you have some hearing difficulties, it will make them more likely to speak clearly, look at you while talking, and repeat sentences without any attitude.
2. Be specific when you need clarification
Instead of using words like “what?” or “huh?” when you miss part of a conversation, be more specific. For example, you could say something like “I didn’t hear the name of your new reindeer. Could you please repeat it?” That way, the speaker doesn’t have to repeat the whole sentence and is less likely to act like a Grinch.
3. Use your eyes along with your ears
While you may not be able to lip-read a conversation across the room, being able to see a speaker’s mouth can go a long way towards better speech understanding. A person’s facial expressions can put a sentence into context and save you from some confusion.
4. Control your listening environment
Make sure to put yourself close to the people you are communicating with. Instead of trying to talk across the table, close the distance with the speaker until you are a few feet away and face-to-face. It may mean more walking around for you, but it will keep you from missing out on important details of a conversation. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for the music to be turned down. While Christmas music can help put everyone in a festive mood, it can also make it very difficult for those with hearing loss to make out what is being said.
5. Be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself
Try to avoid blaming yourself or others for your hearing difficulty. A good attitude (and some Christmas cheer) can go a long way, and if others see that you are calm and open about your hearing loss, they will most likely be calmer and more understanding.
6. Use hearing assistive technology
Hearing aids can go a long way towards improving your communication difficulties. From turning down background noise to enhancing speech clarity, hearing aids can minimize the stress of hearing loss through the holidays. If you or a loved one are experiencing some of the difficulties on this list and have not yet had your hearing tested, now is a great time to come into Living Sounds for a hearing evaluation and consultation. You can be hearing those Christmas bells in no time! If you already have hearing aids but aren’t wearing them, bring them in and have them serviced to ensure they are working right for you throughout the holidays.
To book your appointment, give us a call at 1800-232-7289 and talk to one of our wonderful customer care representatives.
Remember, the holidays aren’t the time to stress about your hearing loss. Follow these simple tips and focus on the things that matter most – like turkey dinner.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at Living Sounds!
Tom Gartshore BC-HIS
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner