thanksgiving dinner friends familyMany of us look forward to the holidays because it means scrumptious-smelling kitchens and time spent catching up with loved ones.

For those with hearing loss, however, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can also be frustrating due to difficulty communicating with family and friends.

Physicians Hearing Center in Dothan, Alabama offers the following suggestions for both those with hearing loss and their loved ones to have more satisfying communication this holiday season:

 

For Those With Hearing Loss

1.Be open with the host: Your hearing loss may not be a top-of-mind matter to the host, who is likely busy with other planning aspects of the gathering. Don’t be afraid to communicate to them ways they could assist in helping you hear better at the party. If the music is rather loud, ask the host if they’d mind turning it down a bit. If the group turns on the television, ask if the closed captioning can be turned on. 

2.Seek out quiet areas of the house: The kitchen is often the hub of holiday parties, with the food being prepared and guests gathering to socialize and help the host. The background chatter, dishes clanging and vent fans humming can make it harder to focus on dialogue, however. Seek out a quieter room to have a more effective conversation with an individual or small group.

3.Select a good seat at the table: If you have a “good side” when it comes to hearing, position yourself to have a better chance at hearing conversation during the meal. Try to be in a seat that allows you to have eye contact with most people. If there’s a round table, sit there so you don’t have to strain as much to see them.

For Hosts With Loved Ones With Hearing Loss

1.Don’t set the mood with lighting: While it can seem festive to have softer lighting, it is more difficult for those with hearing loss to read lips and maintain eye contact. Try to have well-lit spaces to facilitate better communication.

2.Choose paper or plastic: The clanking of china and silverware is just another level of background noise that makes it tougher for someone with hearing loss to concentrate on the dialogue. Choosing quieter materials can make a difference.

3.Don’t give up: Even if your loved one with hearing loss is having difficulty hearing you or others, keep trying. Use different phrases or words if they’re repeatedly asking for clarification. Avoid saying “never mind,” which can make them feel isolated and left out of the conversation.

For more information on services available at Physicians Hearing Center, call us at 334.673.7399 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .