When you think about Thanksgiving, what do you think about besides turkey? Does the cooking and preparing with the family start days before? While you follow grandma’s famous pecan pie recipe, will you reminisce with each other? It’s warm and comfy because you are together, and a delicious aroma is wafting from the oven. Will you be laughing while the family enjoys hearing about your son’s grades or listening to the grandkids laughing and playing. Or are you fighting to hear what everyone is talking about?
Hearing loss doesn’t have to define the holiday season for you. From chatting over drinks at the company get together to hearing the salesperson over the loud holiday shoppers, you can take charge of how you enjoy the holidays this year. Hearing loss doesn’t need to hold you hostage. Think about how to get the most out of your holiday in spite of your hearing loss. Here are some recommendations.
Those Holiday Get-Togethers
Get-togethers might be the most difficult for those with loss of hearing. To make the experience less stressful, here are some tricks:
- Manage Your Expectations. There’s no point walking into a party and expecting everything to go perfectly. Your hearing loss will definitely make things more difficult. Don’t allow the difficulties to get you stressed out, just use a sense of humor about it.
- To get things you might have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.
- Stand with your back to the wall. It can help stop some of the background noise.
- Perhaps you could have a friend pass you notes at a speech rather than whispering in your ears.
- So you can feel less isolated, ask for a seat near the middle of the table.
- Step out of the room every once in a while. Some time for the brain to rest and recover can be very helpful.
- If there are any speakers that could interfere with your hearing aids, stand away from them. Don’t be shy about asking the host to turn down the music so you can hear better.
- Look for areas in the room that have better acoustics–perhaps a quiet corner.
- Use visual hints to let others know what is going on. You don’t need to point it out. Something as basic as cupping your hand behind your ear can tell someone you’re struggling.
- Visual clues should be carefully observed. When someone is looking right at you, they are probably speaking to you. Let them know you didn’t hear what they said.
Hearing loss can make traveling more difficult but don’t let that get in your way. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these suggestions.
Taking The Train or Flying
It can be challenging to hear the announcements over the loudspeaker if you are going on a plane or taking a train. If you want to make the trip smoother there are some things that can be done. Checking if the airport or train station offers any special services for the hearing impaired is the first step. There might be an app you can download on your phone that shows vital info or visual signs that show oral announcements. They may also provide priority boarding, for example, or a sign language interpreter if you need one. If being close enough to lip read or ask questions is important, you can ask for priority seating. They might offer to bring you through a select line in security, too. You won’t know what is offered until you ask, but do it a few weeks before you go.
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. Vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing are devices that are offered for those who have hearing loss at lots of resorts. Some places have fire alarms that flash the lights, too, to improve your safety while you stay with them.
If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials
You may not be certain what to take with you if this is your first time traveling with your hearing aids. Some essentials to pack include:
- Additional accessories
- A cleaning kit
- Replacement batteries or a second charger
Wear your hearing aids as you go through security. Taking them out is not necessary. You can leave them in while flying, as well.
And if you don’t already own hearing aids, perhaps it’s time. In the latest hearing aids, there are functions that will eliminate background noise, enhance conversation while amplifying sound. The holidays come but once a year. Whether you have had hearing loss most of your life or are new to it, there is no reason the holidays can’t be everything you remember. To help you understand what your hearing solutions are, make an appointment with a hearing care professional.