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The Holidays with Hearing Loss

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The Holidays with Hearing Loss

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As we approach the December holidays – Christmas and New Year’s Eve – there’s plenty of planning to do before we head off to (or host) holiday gatherings. For those of us with hearing loss, the holidays can be an overwhelming time of year. Between reunions and loud parties, it may be difficult to stay in the loop.

Whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering or you are a person with hearing loss that plans to attend, there are a few handy tips to keep in mind to ensure that you enjoy your holiday season.

 

If You’re Hosting a Holiday Get-Together…

Make a List & Check it Twice!

We want to make sure all of our guests have the best time – and that means making sure everyone’s needs are met. In the same way you’d ask folks about their dietary restrictions, you may want to include a request for accessibility accommodations. This includes easy access to washrooms in your house and asking people who experience hearing loss what can make their time at holiday party easier.

Setting Up the Space

If you have guests who are hard of hearing, the set up of the party area is important. Set up small “islands” of a few seats a piece – maybe 3-4 – to facilitate smaller group conversations. For people with hearing loss, it could be difficult to hear multiple speakers in a conversation. Giving them the option of having quieter conversations will help them with catching up with friends and loved ones.

Turn Down the Volume

We love holiday music, but there is a point where it can get too loud – especially if everyone is talking animatedly in the space. Keep the volume at a manageable level where the music is still adding ambiance but it is now drowning out speakers’ voices. Another tip: turn the speakers toward the wall to control the sound.

 

If You Have a Hearing Loss & are Attending a Holiday Gathering…

Let Your Hosts Know Your Needs

If you need the music turned down, or if it’d be easier for you to sit in a certain seat at the dining table, let your hosts know!

Have Smaller or One-on-One Conversations

Most of us are well aware that big group conversations are difficult to follow with hearing loss. Add some holiday background music to the mix and you may lose track of the conversation – even with the use of hearing aids. Instead, catch up with friends and loved ones in smaller group conversations or one-on-one. If the general party area is too big and loud, find a quiet corner to chat. It also helps if you position yourself with your back to the wall (the wall cancels out a lot of that background noise).

Get Your Hearing Tested!

If you’ve experienced changes in your hearing and you’ve noticed that people aren’t speaking as clearly as before, it may be time to take a hearing test. You’ve still got a few weeks before the upcoming holidays – take the opportunity now to check your hearing abilities. If a hearing loss is found, we can help you find the best solution.

 

If You’re Traveling during the Holidays with Hearing Loss…

Visit us at Hearing Centers of Arizona for hearing aid maintenance, repairs, and cleaning! Make sure your hearing aids are functioning at their best. Be sure to pack all of the supplies you need for your hearing aids – you never know if you can find a certain kind of battery in a pinch. Don’t forget your recharging or dehumidifying stations, and if you’re going abroad, make sure you have an electrical outlet adaptor.

Travel can be stressful no matter the time of year, but as all of us know, the holidays are even busier than normal! Have your flight alerts sent to text or email, which could be helpful at the airport when announcements over the PA system are difficult to hear.

If you’re staying at a hotel, talk to the concierge about the accessibility options available to you. Most hotels offer vibrating alarm clocks, captioned telephones, and emergency notification systems in case of fire. If you’re staying with your friends or family, don’t hesitate to ask for the necessary accommodation to make your holidays more fun and easy.

 

Happy Holidays from Hearing Centers of Arizona

From our team at Hearing Centers of Arizona, we wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy holiday season. For all of your hearing health care needs, visit us today.

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