Besides turkey, what do you think about when someone talks about Thanksgiving? Does the cooking and preparing with your family begin days before? While you are following grandma’s classic pecan pie recipe, will you catch up with each other? It’s warm and relaxing because you are together, and a yummy aroma is wafting from the oven. While the family laughs about your son’s latest girlfriend or listens to the grandkids laugh and sing holiday songs will you be laughing with them? Or are you struggling to hear what everyone is talking about?
The holiday doesn’t need to be defined for you by loss of hearing. From chatting over drinks at the company get together to hearing the salesperson over the din of holiday shoppers, you can take charge of how you enjoy the holidays this season. Hearing loss doesn’t have to hold you hostage. Consider how to get the most out of your holiday despite your loss of hearing. Here are some recommendations.
Those Holiday Get-Togethers
Get-togethers might be the most challenging for those with hearing loss. To make the experience less stressful, here are some tips:
- Go out of the room every once in a while. It will allow your brain to have an opportunity to a rest.
- Some of the background noise can be prevented if you stand with your back to a wall.
- Enlist a hearing buddy, a friend who sits with you who can repeat key things you might have missed.
- Move away from any speakers that may interfere with your hearing aids. If the music is loud, ask the host to turn it down a little bit so you can hear better, too.
- Your expectations have to be managed. It’s an impractical expectation to imagine that you will walk into a party and find everything to be ideal. Your hearing loss will definitely make things more difficult. Just tackle it with a sense of humor and don’t allow the challenges to stress you out.
- Maybe you could have a friend pass you notes at a speech rather than whispering in your ears.
- Provide some visual signs of your own. Something as basic as cupping your hand behind your ear can let someone know you’re having difficulty hearing without you needing to tell someone.
- Visual clues should be carefully noted. When someone is looking right at you, they are most likely talking to you. Let them know you didn’t hear what they said.
- Request a seat at the center of the table so you don’t feel so isolated.
- Look for places in the room that have better acoustics–maybe a quiet corner.
Hearing loss can make traveling more challenging but don’t let that get in your way. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these tips.
Flying or Taking the Train
It can be difficult to hear the announcements over the intercom if you are flying or taking a train. There are a few things you can do to make the trip better. Start off by checking with the airport to see if they offer any special services for the hearing impaired. There may be an app you can download on your phone that shows vital information or visual signs that show oral announcements. They may also provide priority boarding, for instance, or a sign language interpreter if you need one. You can request priority seating if being close enough to ask questions or read lips. Security might have a special line that you can get in, also. Be sure to ask a few weeks before you go if you want to find out what is possible.
Be sure the attendants know you have hearing loss when you get on board. That way they will know to tap you on the shoulder if you don’t answer when they ask you if you want a drink.
When you reserve your hotel room, let them know you are hearing impaired. Lots of resorts have rooms or devices available for those with hearing loss including vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing. So they can improve your safety, some places are also set up with alarms that flash lights.
If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials
If this is your first trip with your hearing aids, you may not be certain what you need to take with you. Some fundamentals to pack include:
- Additional accessories
- A cleaning kit
- Extra batteries or a second charger
Wear your hearing aids as you pass security. Removing them is not necessary. Also, during a flight, you can leave them in.
Lastly, if you don’t already have hearing aids, maybe it’s time. There are features in quality hearing aids that will amplify sound while enhancing conversations and getting rid of background noise. The holidays are a once a year occasion. Whether you have had hearing loss the majority of your life or just got them, there is no reason the holidays shouldn’t be everything you remember. To help you know what your hearing solutions are, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.