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Woman with hearing loss feeling isolated during holidays.

Other than turkey, what do you think about when someone mentions Thanksgiving? Does the cooking and preparing with the family begin days before? While you are following grandma’s famous pecan pie recipe, will you catch up with each other? It’s warm and relaxing because you are together, and a yummy aroma is wafting from the oven. As the family laughs about your son’s latest girlfriend or listens to the grandkids laugh and sing holiday songs will you be enjoying with them? Or are you struggling to catch the punchline of every joke?

The holiday doesn’t have to be defined for you by loss of hearing. From chatting over drinks at the company get together to hearing the salesperson over the din of holiday shoppers, you can take control of how you experience the holidays this year. You don’t need to be held hostage by loss of hearing. Think about how to get the most out of your holiday despite your loss of hearing. Here are some tips.

Those Holiday Get-Togethers

For people with loss of hearing, get-togethers may be the most difficult challenge. To make the experience less stressful, here are some suggestions:

  • Visual clues should be carefully observed. Someone is probably talking to you if they are looking right at you. Inform them that you didn’t hear what they said.
  • In order to feel less alone, ask for a seat close to the middle of the table.
  • Give some visual signs of your own. Something as simple as cupping your hand behind your ear can tell someone you have difficulty hearing without you needing to tell someone.
  • Stand with your back to the wall. It can help stop some of the background noise.
  • Stay away from any speakers that might interfere with your hearing aids. If the music is loud, ask someone to turn it down a bit so you can hear better, too.
  • Maybe there is a quiet place in the room that has better acoustics where you can go.
  • Maybe you could have a friend pass you notes at a speech rather than whispering in your ears.
  • Enlist a hearing buddy, a friend who sits with you who can repeat key things you might have missed.
  • Manage Your Expectations. It’s pointless going to a party and expecting everything to be perfect. Your loss of hearing will definitely make things more difficult. Don’t allow the difficulties to get you stressed out, just have a sense of humor about it.
  • Maybe try stepping out of the room, even if just for a little while. It will give your brain a chance to a rest.

Travel Tips

Don’t permit the difficulties of hearing loss to get in the way of your travels. To make your holiday trip go smoother, try these tips.

Flying or Taking the Train

It can be challenging to hear the announcements over the speaker if you are going on a plane or taking a train. If you would like to make the trip easier there are a few things you can do. To begin with, call the airport to see if they provide any special services for the hearing impaired. They may have special signs that visually show oral announcements or apps you can download on your phone to see track changes or other vital information. They could even offer a sign language interpreter or priority boarding. You can ask for priority seating if being close enough to ask questions or read lips. Security may have a special line that you can get in, also. You won’t know what is possible unless you ask, but do it a few weeks before your trip.

Make certain the attendants are aware that you have hearing loss when you get on board. That way they will know to tap you on the shoulder if you fail to answer when they ask you about a drink.

Lodging Tips

When you reserve your hotel room, let them know you are hearing impaired. Lots of resorts have rooms or devices available for those with hearing loss like vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing. Some places have fire alarms that flash the lights, too, to improve your safety while you stay with them.

If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials

If this is your first trip with your hearing aids, you may not be certain what you need to take with you. Some essentials to pack include:

  • Extra batteries or a second charger
  • Additional accessories
  • A cleaning kit

As you pass security keep your hearing aids in. You are not expected to remove them. You can keep them on during an air flight, also.

Lastly, if you don’t have hearing aids, maybe it’s time. There are features in modern hearing aids that can amplify sound while enhancing conversations and eliminating background noise. The holidays come but once a year. Whether you have had hearing loss the majority of your life or are new to it, there is no reason the holidays can’t be all that you remember. To help you know what your hearing solutions are, schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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