How to cope with hearing loss during the holiday season

"by " Albert Stein

Another year has flown by and once again the holiday season is upon us. Even though this is often an exciting time for catching up with friends and family over meals and drinks, it can also be an especially difficult time for those dealing with hearing loss.

Noisy, crowded rooms are often one of the biggest challenges the hard-of-hearing can face. The fact that this atmosphere is a common occurrence throughout the summer months can leave them feeling left out and frustrated.

Here are a few tips on how to manage your hearing loss during the holiday season. 

You will often be placed in a situation where you choose a seat at a dinner table or lounge area. Arlene Romoff, co-founder of Advocates for Better Communication and author to two hearing books, suggests picking the seat best suited to your hearing ability*. Determine your ‘better side’, and aim that to the table or nearest person with your seat orientation. Ask the host to turn any background noise such as music or television down or off, and strike up conversation with someone with a sense of patience*.

If you struggle to hear people in crowded rooms this summer and think you might need to be checked by a professional, don’t hesitate to talk to your local hearing clinic. They will be able to offer advice and devices if needed, ensuring you get the care you need and reducing your difficulties.

Arlene also has a great tip about holding a conversation with just one person. She suggests finding a quiet corner away from the chattering, such as the kitchen where you can help out*. It’s also likely there will be children around, so she suggests reading them a story in a quiet room* – you’ll be a favourite of all the parents who want a little time out and the kids will love you for it!

*Arlene Romoff Seven Tips to Better Communication. Accessed November 5 2014. Can be accessed here.


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