It is the time of the year when people start smiling a lot more and becoming more generous while we all gear up for the holiday season. Some of us might find this time of year particularly challenging though, especially if they have hearing loss.
Even though hearing loss brings with it a host of challenges, there are many ways to overcome these hurdles and enjoy the holiday season. A few simple recommendations can help you get ready for your next holiday get together.
Parties can be overwhelming, with so much going on all at once. Hearing loss makes it difficult for the brain to process so much stimuli, so give yourself a break every now and then. Take a moment to step outside and get some fresh air and a quiet moment. This will enable your brain to have time to process everything at its own pace while giving you a rest.
Be open and upfront about your hearing problem and let others know how it affects your ability to communicate. You can help others out by showing them how best they can communicate with you, by asking them to speak slowly and clearly rather than loudly. Ask people to rephrase their sentences so that you can understand them better. Don’t be shy to speak up about your hearing needs.
If possible, try to sit right at the center of your dinner table so that you can hear conversations that are going on at both ends. This way you will not have as hard a time hearing what people are saying at the very end of the table.
Notify your host beforehand about your hearing problem and ask them to keep background music and television volume to a minimum. Also let them know if there is any other way they can help you, such as letting you sit away from noisy places like the kitchen.
Become aware of your surroundings and try to make eye contact with those around you. If someone keeps staring at you expectantly for a long time, they may have asked you a question that you missed out on, so simply ask them to repeat what they just said while letting them know you have a hearing problem.
If you are attending a wedding or any other function where the speeches are written out beforehand, ask the person who is speaking whether they can provide you a copy of their speech so that you can read what they said.
It is important to remain casual and not stress out over little things. Hearing loss can be unnerving, but once you take ownership of it and develop a sense of humor about it, others will be just as easy going and cheerful around you.
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