Hearing Loss and the Holidays
The holidays can be a rewarding time for everyone, the family bonding, the cool weather and who could forget all the amazing food! But it can also be a time of stress amidst all of those social gatherings, especially for those with hearing loss. Coping with hearing loss throughout the year alone can be a task in itself, but facing family and friends during the holidays with this issue can be daunting, especially during conversation.
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, dealing with the holidays doesn’t have to be avoided or a worrisome subject. Try focusing on conversations that are generally centered in a quiet atmosphere, lend a hand in the kitchen where less commotion usually takes place. Another tip for dealing with hearing loss during the holidays is to choose a seat at the dinner table that fits you best! For example, if you have a better side for hearing, make sure to sit closer to a table end with that side facing towards the majority of the people.
If you’re hosting the holiday festivities, don’t get discouraged. It’s all about creating the right environment that will best benefit your hearing health during the holidays. Try preparing your meals before your guests arrive so that you won’t have your back facing them while cooking in the kitchen. Also, don’t be afraid to excuse yourself after dinner to take a minute alone to simply relax and readjust your hearing that has just been exposed to the inevitable chatter of loved ones. However, if your hearing loss has progressed to stages worse than this, the most important thing to do is to see a hearing professional to test your hearing aid or ears.
If, on the other hand, you suspect that your loved one may be suffering from untreated hearing loss, it is up to you to speak up and help them get the help that they need. The first step is being able to identify the signs of hearing loss. For example, inattentiveness, failure to respond to spoken words and social isolation can all be major clues that someone you know may be suffering from hearing loss, not just during the holidays, but any time of the year. Comforting them during this important time may be vital to them seeking the help they need. Try creating the right environment for them during the holidays by keeping TV volume down and using paper plates and plastic cutlery to reduce noise distractions. But most importantly, speak to them about seeking help for their hearing.
You see, the perfect situation may never arise for you to speak to a loved one about hearing loss. However, the holidays are as good a time as any, if not better. Holidays are a time of joy and family togetherness. Choose the right time by speaking to them in a more intimate, cozy setting, rather than in front of the holiday gathering. Be compassionate and ease your loved one into the idea of getting a hearing exam with an online hearing exam.