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Dealing With Hearing Loss in the Holiday Season

Dealing With Hearing Loss in the Holiday Season

People with hearing loss can often shy away from social gatherings during the holiday season. As you prepare to celebrate with your family, take some time out to consider the challenges faced by those with hearing loss.

For those with hearing loss, simple coping strategies can make the holiday season as fun and enjoyable as it should be. Make sure that you take measures to accommodate relatives with hearing loss, or if you yourself suffer from hearing loss, here are some steps that can help guide you to a more fulfilling holiday season.

Listening fatigue is one of the most common problems that people endure due to hearing loss. The constant strain placed on the ears and brain to decipher speech at a reduced volume due to hearing loss can end up making hearing impaired individuals feel exhausted. Avoid listening fatigue by limiting yourself to having only one conversation at one time. Make sure you allocate yourself to an area that is quiet and relatively less noisy. If you have hearing loss, take breaks between conversations to allow yourself to process information and relax before joining another conversation. You can choose to help with chores in the kitchen to avoid cluttered and noisy areas in the other rooms.

During conversations, make sure you take a seat that enables direct eye contact with the speaker. If you hear better in one ear, sit facing the side that has the ear with stronger hearing during conversations. Devices such as directional microphones or hearing aids that can modulate noisy environments can be extremely useful during the holiday season.

If you have a relative or friend who suffers from hearing loss, take necessary measures to reduce unnecessary background noise. Hearing-impaired individuals face enough challenges listening in regular environments, without the added interference of blaring music or television, thus keep these extraneous noises to a moderate volume or switch them off altogether if they are unnecessary.

When attempting to have a conversation with someone who has hearing loss, first make sure you get their undivided attention and make direct eye contact so that they can utilize non-verbal cues. Never call out to them from a distance or speak when their back is turned towards you since they might not be able to hear you at all in these situations.

Speak clearly and enunciate carefully, but do not exaggerate your speech movements. Refrain from yelling or behaving in a manner that may be perceived as condescending to the hearing-impaired individual. Ensure that your gathering takes place in a well-lit environment so that it is easier for hearing-impaired individuals to see and pick up non-verbal cues such as body language, hand gestures, and facial expressions. These few thoughtful measures can help ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and memorable holiday season.