The holiday season can be a stressful time of year for the hearing impaired. From travel to dinner conversations, those with hearing loss can have a difficult time interacting with their family and friends.
Take traveling for example. Between communicating with flight attendants to taxi cab drivers, the communication and overall experience can become exhausting for those who cannot clearly process what is being said. With hearing loss being the third most common health problem in the United States, those suffering from this disease may choose to stay at home and not travel to certain destinations, losing valuable times with family and friends.
The downside and long term effects of these health problems can be tremendous for those not willing to get help. One’s mental health can take a toll with side effects such as anxiety and depression which can arise from not being able to have accurate communication due to hearing impairment. So how can we help those in need? There are several short term and long term precautions one can take to be mindful to those with hearing loss during this holiday season:
- If you already have hearing aids, bring them in for cleaning and maintenance to make sure they are performing optimally.
- Before getting together with loved ones, make sure your hearing aid batteries are fresh.
- Lower the volume on the holiday music. Although many enjoy these festive songs, it may hinder the ability for those with hearing loss to pick up on conversations. Same goes with the TV, keep the TV off or at a minimum volume in order to eliminate background noise.
- Find a quieter location in the home to catch up with a loved one. If music is playing, step to a room where you can have an easier time engaging on a one-on-one conversation with eye contact.
- Keep the room well lit. Provide good lighting so those with hearing loss are able to see the facial expressions of people and can read lips, picking up on visual cues.
- Use plastic dishware opposed to china. China and silverware is typically louder when it touches the plate. Instead, plastic utensils may lighten the noise level.
- Find the best seat at the dinner table. If you have a “better side” when it comes to hearing, put that ear facing the crowd or assist one who suffers from hearing loss in choosing a seat.
- Help your loved one book an appointment to see a Hearing Instrument Specialist at Purchase Ear Technology.
- While the majority of these precautions are short term alternatives, it is important to get your hearing tested as soon as possible if you are experiencing hearing loss. Just like you get your eyes checked for blurred vision, hearing exams should be done on a regular basis as well to detect your level of hearing loss.