The holidays are quickly approaching, and that means it’s almost time to celebrate and party with coworkers, friends, and family. As many people with hearing loss will tell you, hearing at parties isn’t an easy task, especially without hearing aids with speech-in-noise features.
If you have patients that are worried about their hearing during the upcoming festivities, here are some tips you can give them to help ease their minds:
Be Open about Hearing Loss
A patient’s friends and family are likely aware of their hearing loss, but others may not be. Chances are they may attend parties where people whom aren’t aware are the majority, whether it be at a work event, a friend’s house, a fundraiser, etc. The best advice to give them in this situation is to be open about their hearing loss. They should let anyone who they engage in conversation with know that they can’t hear well and need them to speak slowly and clearly. They may be surprised at how sensitive and responsive people will be.
Stay Away From Noisier Areas
Perhaps the most obvious tip is to stay away from nosier areas. Those who wear hearing aids may have a model that can greatly reduce background noise, but that may not always be enough to fully help. There are still circumstances where music or large groups of people chatting will be too loud. To counteract that, it’s wise for people with hearing loss to excuse themselves and move to a quieter area. The further away they are from the noise, the better they’ll be able to hear, allowing them to better engage in conversation.
Make Sure Vision Isn’t Obstructed
It’s also wise to advise your patients to stay away from dark or dimly lit areas. Not being able to see a person’s face and mouth when they are speaking will make it much harder for them to interpret what is being said. The same goes for rooms that are too brightly lit. It’s equally hard for someone to read lips and facial expressions with bright lights shining in their eyes.
Bring a Buddy
Having a partner with them for the party can be a huge help as well. This person can act as an extra set of ears. If a trusty companion can repeat what someone else has just said, or incorporate the original thought in their answer, your patient can keep up with the conversation without drawing attention to their hearing loss.
Holiday festivities are no reason for anyone with hearing loss to suddenly become shy and reclusive. By following these tips and doing some pre-party planning, they should have a fun and pleasant holiday season.