Plan For A Better Hearing Experience This Christmas

As we move into the month of December, Christmas is on everyone’s mind.  Christmas is a great time for the entire family to come together and enjoy some fun moments. It is categorized by endless chattering and the sound of kitchen utensils clattering; not to mention the ongoing game on TV and sports fans cheering or booing at the players. While all these sounds make the holiday season more entertaining for us, they can be a source of discomfort for people with hearing loss.

A national survey conducted in the United States shows that 50% of all American family gatherings have at least one person with hearing loss. The same survey also reveals that 30% of these families will contain a family member wearing hearing aids. These statistics prove that we need to be more considerate towards our guests or household members who have hearing loss. With just a little bit of advanced planning, we can make the holiday gathering fun, entertaining and pleasurable for them.

Advanced Planning

We love our family members, and a little planning before the party begins is always great. People with hearing loss tend to feel confused and stressed out when there is too much noise in a room. In order to prevent them from being overwhelmed by the noise level that is so typical of family gatherings, we can sort the guests on the basis of expected noise level. Children, for example, are known to be a noisy little bunch. Reserving a playroom for them and setting up a separate table will tone down the noise level a bit.

Similarly, guests who are likely to watch something loud or listen to loud music can be separated from those who would prefer to hold a peaceful conversation among themselves. This way, people with hearing loss can go to a quieter section of the house and have one-to-one conversations easily.

It is also very important to plan the seating arrangement in such a way that your guests with hearing aids are sitting farthest away from areas that are likely to be the noisiest. Remember that hearing aids amplify sound levels. Thus, noise can be pretty discomforting for your guest with hearing aids. Making sure they sit away from the kitchen, a group of loud conversationalists or children, can help your hearing impaired guests have a wonderful time at your house.

The Party Begins

A great host will not only prepare great food, but will also make the experience memorable for everyone attending. It is the responsibility of your hearing impaired guest to let you know about their special needs. That way, you can attend to them better. In addition, you can also make the party more accommodating for those with special needs by keeping the volume on the TV and music low. Try to turn off the music completely when everyone’s eating; people tend to talk louder when the music is on, making it extremely uncomfortable for people with hearing problems.

Finally, try to keep the eating area well-lit so that your guests with hearing loss can see everyone, and use visual cues to be a part of the conversation. In good lighting, they will be able to lip-read and better understand dialogues.

If you or a family member are experiencing hearing loss, we hope you will contact us at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah.  Tim Harmon and his staff are Paducah’s Hearing Experts.  We sit down with our patients and learn about you, your experiences and your needs.  Then, we will help you determine what the best options are to help improve your hearing.  At Purchase Ear Technology, you are more than a patient.  You are FAMILY.  Give us a call today at (270) 558-3996 for more information or to schedule an appointment.