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How to navigate the Holidays with Hearing Loss

The Holiday Season can be a bit tricky for people with Hearing Loss, all of those loud parties and get-togethers can be a strain.

We understand why some people decide to just skip the festivities all together, but there are some tips and tricks that can help you this holiday season so you will enjoy attending seasonal gatherings!

Christmas Party Hearing Aids

Image via Istock

Some of the key preparations and considerations should be:

Venues where possible get involved with planning a party from the start, suggest quieter venues that have soft furnishings and carpets. This helps absorb general noise, so you can hear conversation more easily.

You could even host a party yourself where you invite a few key people you really want to catch up with, in an environment where you can control everything!

If you are going out, try and choose somewhere with a round table so you can see everyone’s faces while they are talking. This will make it easier to understand what they are saying.

Avoid trendy concrete and steel restaurants where they play loud music and everyone has to talk over each other.

Call Ahead – Whether the party is at someone’s home or at a restaurant, call ahead and explain about your hearing loss. Do not be apologetic, just explain the difficulties and share how they can make the experience easier for you. Particularly ask them to:

  • Keep music low or even off especially while eating as people naturally speak louder to be heard.
  • Also have televisions off while eating as the sounds can be distracting.
  • Wash plates far away, or after you have left as these sharp kinds of sounds make it extra difficult to hear.
  • Encourage allocated seating if possible, so that you can sit next to people who are easy to speak to (offering to make place cards and a seating plan could help ease some of the hosts stresses as well)
  • Ask to be sat in a position where it’s easier to hear (read more below)

Seating – where you sit can dramatically influence your experience; where possible try to follow these guidelines:

  • Don’t sit in the corner or with you back to the wall as sound echoes around you.
  • Sit as far away from the kitchen as possible.
  • Sit next to someone who, knows about and understands your hearing loss. They can assist if you miss something and help direct the conversation.

Hearing aids – if you are struggling to hear and do not have a pair of hearing aids you should get your hearing tested right away, call 9820 3440 today and we will book you in as soon as possible! We even have a Christmas deal going until January 1 2016 see below


If you do have a pair of hearing aids, but are still struggling to hear speak to your audiologist. It’s likely they can make some adjustments to help and they may be able to set a program specifically for parties. Remember in the lead up to Christmas to:

  • Wear your hearing aids every day as this helps your brain to interpret sounds consistently.
  • Visit the audiologist to get your settings checked.
  • Make sure your batteries are fresh so you don’t run out.

Listen Patiently and Prompt with Thought

It can be hard for anyone to hear at a noisy gathering, so do your best to hear what you can. If you just miss one or two words, try to piece things together if possible, thinking about the context of the conversation can help.

If you are really struggling and need to clarify something try not to just say ‘What’. Specify exactly what you have missed, making it easier for the person to repeat the correct point. This means the conversation will flow better and it will be easier for you to feel involved.

Try not to get frustrated and choose people who are easier to speak to where possible. The best people usually have no facial hair, a loud voice and don’t speak too fast – the ideal dinner companion!

Give yourself a break

If you are feeling strained go somewhere quiet where your ears and your mind can have a rest. Doing this at regular intervals helps some people to stay calm and enjoy a party.

Having some paracetamol on hand can be a good idea as well, as all that stimulus is likely to give anyone a headache and you don’t need any additional obstacles in your way!

Look after yourself over the holidays, and remember it’s nice to see the people you love, so savor these special times.

Merry Christmas from AudioHearing Melbourne!