Thanksgiving is many people’s favorite holidays — more time to travel so you often get to see more friends and family. Plus, there is always too much food and the anticipation of Christmas right around the corner. But when you have hearing loss, you may feel as if you are not always involved and so missing out on the fun. Large gatherings with a lot of people talking at once, in addition to the parades and football games on the TV, can make conversation difficult. Here are some tips for enjoying the holiday!
Talk to your host ahead of time and ask if it would be possible to be seated with your back to the wall and away from extra noise like the TV or kitchen sink.
Ask that the volume of the TV or background music be kept at a lower volume.
Concentrate on talking to one or two people closest to you. If you want to converse with others, move to them.
If you have a setting for background noise on your hearing aids, try using it.
Ask your audiologist about hearing aid accessories that can help you focus on certain people talking.
If you don’t understand something, ask the person to repeat it. Don’t nod and smile because you are only robbing yourself of meaningful interactions. When you kindly ask people to look at you and slow down when they speak, you will find that they are happy to accommodate you.
If you don’t want to interrupt someone while they are talking, five them a visual cu to indicate that you are having trouble, like cupping your ear to your ear or simply move closer to them.
Try to have a sense of humor when you misunderstand something. Oftentimes those moments are worth laughing about.
Remember that you will never hear everything all the time, no one does, so be patient with yourself and others and try to be grateful for what you can hear!