According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 15% of American adults aged 18 or older report some trouble hearing. If you are one of them, you may be worried that hearing loss may make it more difficult to enjoy holiday gatherings. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to make the most of this season.
Schedule a Hearing Test
If you’ve been putting off getting your hearing checked, there’s no time like the holidays to give yourself the gift of better hearing. That starts with scheduling a hearing test. These exams are quick, painless and offer immediate insight into both the cause and severity of your hearing loss. In some cases, your hearing loss may be due to a temporary condition, such as earwax buildup blocking sound. However, you may also have permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
Wear Your Hearing Aids
If you have permanent hearing loss, your audiologist will likely recommend hearing aids. The right pair will make it easier for you to follow conversations and communicate with others, whether you’re hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner at home or meeting friends for a festive night out at Mesa Street Grill.
Hearing aids amplify speech, minimize background noise, and have directional microphones that make it easier to focus on the sounds you want to hear while ignoring distractions.
Make Your Location Hearing Loss Friendly
If you are hosting a holiday dinner or planning an event with others, there are several things you can do or ask of your host that can make it easier for you to hear. These include:
- Turning down any background music or turning off the TV while you’re dining
- Positioning yourself so you can see as many faces as possible when at the table
- Removing any decorations or candles that might be blocking your view of other’s faces
- Creating good lighting to improve visibility
- Moving to a quieter room for better conversation
Be Patient and Take Breaks
Let’s face it, holiday gatherings can be quite stressful, even without hearing loss. If you find yourself feeling frustrated or experiencing a bit of listening fatigue, step outside or into a quiet room of the house to take a few breaths and recharge. Or consider taking a walk with just one or two other people and enjoy some fresh air and easy conversation. Whatever you do, be patient with yourself as well as those around and don’t be afraid to communicate your needs.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Tinnitus & Hearing Experts today.