Other than turkey, what do you think about when someone mentions Thanksgiving? Does the cooking and preparing with the family start days before? Will you catch up with each other while following grandma’s classic homemade pecan pie recipe? It’s warm and cozy 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 fighting to hear what everyone is talking about?
The holiday doesn’t have to be defined for you by loss of hearing. You can take charge of your holiday experience, from hearing a salesperson at a noisy store to talking over drinks at the company get together. Hearing loss doesn’t need to hold you hostage. Consider some tricks that will allow you to get the most out of the holidays in spite of your hearing loss.
At Holiday Get-Togethers
Parties could be the most challenging for those with hearing loss. To make the experience less stressful, here are some tips:
- Your expectations have to be managed. It’s an unrealistic expectation to imagine that you will go into a party and find everything to be ideal. Your loss of hearing is going to make things more difficult. Just approach it with a sense of humor and don’t allow the difficulties to cause you stress.
- So you can feel less alone, request a seat close to the middle of the table.
- Move away from any speakers that may interfere with your hearing aids. If the music is loud, ask someone to turn it down a little bit so you can hear better, too.
- Provide some visual signs of your own. You don’t need to point it out. Something as simple as cupping your hand behind your ear can let someone know you’re struggling.
- If sitting through a speech, ask friends to pass you notes instead of trying to whisper in your ear.
- To get things you may have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
- Visual clues should be carefully observed. Someone is probably speaking to you if they are looking right at you. If you didn’t hear what they said tell them.
- Stand with your back to the wall. It can help stop some of the background noise.
- Look for areas in the room that have better acoustics–perhaps a quiet corner.
- Step out of the room every now and then. It will give your brain an opportunity to a rest.
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 challenging to hear announcements over the intercom. There are a few things you can do to make the trip smoother. To begin with, call the airport to see if they provide any special services for the hearing impaired. They could have special signs that visually show oral announcements or apps you can get on your phone to see track changes or other vital information. They could also offer priority boarding, for instance, or a sign language interpreter if you require one. You can request priority seating if being close enough to ask questions or read lips. Security may have a special line that you can get in, also. You won’t know what is offered until you ask, but do it a few weeks before you go.
Make sure the attendants recognize you have hearing loss when you get on 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.
If you are staying at a hotel, make them aware you are hearing impaired when you set your reservation. Vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing are devices which are offered for those who have hearing loss at many resorts. In order to improve your safety, some places are also set up with alarms that flash lights.
What Hearing Aid Essentials to Bring
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
- Extra batteries or a second charger
- A cleaning kit
Wear your hearing aids as you pass security. You do not need to remove them. You can leave them on during an air flight, as well.
Finally, if you don’t have hearing aids, maybe it’s time. In the newer hearing aids, there are functions that will get rid of background noise, enhance conversation while amplifying sound. The holidays are a once a year celebration. Whether you have had hearing loss most of your life or are new to it, there is no reason the holidays shouldn’t be everything you remember. To help you understand what your hearing solutions are, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.