Reduce Background Noise Where Possible

Background noise can make it difficult for people that are hard of hearing to hold conversations. Different types of noise can begin to blend together, making it tricky to understand what others are saying. 
If you, or a loved one attending the event, suffer from hearing loss, consider turning off the TV and radio. If you'd prefer to have them on, try to keep the volume low. The same may be true for other appliances like dishwashers and dryers. Be considerate of when you turn these on so that they won't be disruptive. 

Wear Your Hearing Aids

Hearing aids can be a valuable tool for those dealing with hearing loss at Christmas gatherings. Though they can't restore the hearing you've lost, hearing aids can amplify sound you may have otherwise had trouble hearing. This can help you navigate all your holiday get-togethers. 
Pro tip: if you're new to wearing hearing aids, you may want to wear them for a few days in advance of your event or gathering so that you can adjust to how they feel and work.

Research Lipreading and Body Language

Lipreading and interpreting body language are important tools for people that are hard of hearing. Developing these skills may help you navigate conversations at holiday parties and beyond. There are courses you can take online to improve your lipreading, but you can also practice with friends and family.

If you want to help a loved one with hearing loss, there are steps you can take as well. Try to maintain eye contact and avoid shouting or over-enunciating. Speaking in a way that's unnatural to you might only make lipreading more difficult. 

Approach Conversations Differently

If you're struggling with hearing loss, you may need to adjust the way you engage in conversations. First, it helps to ask your loved ones to look at you when they speak. This will make it easier for you to read their lips and interpret their expressions. Asking them to pause between sentences can also help give you more time to process what they've just said.

You should also try to speak with others at a reduced distance, like 1-2 metres. Trying to communicate with someone from across the room will probably only lead to confusion and frustration. Finally, avoid pretending that you understood what someone said. There's nothing wrong with asking someone to repeat themselves. 

Have a Designated Quiet Area

Making your get-togethers supportive of guests that are hard of hearing doesn't necessarily mean you can't watch movies or play loud music. If you want to have music playing in one room where people are chatting, you could make another room a designated quiet area. 
This could be a place where guests can have deeper conversations without any disruptions. There are plenty of ways to improve a room's acoustics if you want to go the extra mile, but the easiest thing you can do is fill the room with soft furniture that won't screech when guests get up or sit down.

Seek Treatment for Hearing Loss

Suffering from hearing loss during holidays isn't easy, but there are a variety of treatment options out there that can help you. If you're interested in hearing aids or getting a hearing test, please don't hesitate to contact us.