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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

AudioHearing-ChristmasAd-01

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!

Should I get my Hearing Tested?

YES – before even considering if you have hearing loss, you should get your hearing tested regularly.

Just like having regular eye tests or doctors check-ups it really pays to have your hearing tested. This way we can get a baseline of where you are and pick up any changes early.

A hearing test can seem like a scary thing for many people as they aren’t sure what’s involved. Or you may think even if there is some hearing loss it’s easier not to know.

But we can guarantee it’s a painless process and the sooner you get something done the better off you will be.

How is your hearing?

Most people will only get their hearing tested if they think there might be a problem, infact your probably reading this article because you suspect that you (or someone close to you) may have hearing loss.

It’s likely that you may have been thinking about it for a while and now you’re having a look around the internet to see if it’s worth getting it checked out.

Below is a list of some of the common signs of hearing loss. If you feel you are experiencing any of these, we strongly recommend getting your hearing tested.

• Muffled quality of speech and other sounds
• Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd
• Difficulty understanding people unless they are facing you
• Thinking that others do not talk properly and mumble
• Frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly
• Difficulty understanding higher pitched voices
• Struggling to hear conversation from a distance
• Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio
• Difficulties hearing on the phone
• Avoidance of some social gathering
• Becoming more sensitive to loud sounds
• Experiencing ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)

If you are now ready to book a hearing test – just call 1300 432 793 and one of our experienced consultants will be happy to speak to you.

If you’re still not convinced, keep reading. There are many more compelling arguments as to why you should get your hearing tested.

You may not want to have a hearing test because you think that there is very little that can be done. A lot of people associate Hearing Aids with the big squawky ones their parents or grandparents wore.

These days most hearing aids are digital therefore eliminating the squawks. The technology has also come a long way so the capacity to hear is better than ever before.

If the look of hearing aids worries you there are a lot of small and discreet options available. Depending on someone’s hearing loss and budget, most people can wear a hearing aid that’s practically invisible and it’s unlikely anyone will notice it at all.

Hearing Aids

We see a lot of people who admit they have known they have hearing loss for a while, but think that they will just delay it a little longer and it won’t matter.

However there is increasing scientific evidence indicating that untreated hearing loss can be linked with the progression of other medical conditions, including dementia. The overwhelming message is that the sooner you get your hearing treated the better!

Getting checked is a painless and fairly cheap process, especially for the peace of mind it can bring you.

If you are an Australian Pensioner or Veteran you may even be eligible for free hearing services from the government. At AudioHearing Melbourne we are proud to be accredited to provide these services.

We also offer discounts for seniors card holders. While many private health insurance providers subsidise hearing tests and hearing aids depending on what type of cover you have.

We hope we have convinced you to book a hearing test! Call 1300 432 793 today or fill in this form and we will contact you within 1 business day to book your test.