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Woman with hearing loss feeling isolated during holidays.

When you ponder Thanksgiving, what do you think about other than turkey? Does the cooking and preparing with your family start days before? While you are following grandma’s famous pecan pie recipe, will you reminisce with each other? It’s warm and relaxing because you are together, and a yummy aroma is wafting from the oven. Will you be laughing while the family enjoys hearing about your son’s grades or listening to the grandkids laughing and playing. 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 talking over drinks at the company get together to hearing the salesperson over the loud holiday shoppers, you can take charge of how you experience the holidays this season. You don’t have to be held hostage by hearing loss. Think about how to get the most out of your holiday despite your loss of hearing. Here are some tips.

At Holiday Gatherings

Get-togethers could be the most challenging for those with hearing loss. To make the experience less stressful, here are some suggestions:

  • Visual clues should be carefully noted. If someone is looking right at you, they are probably talking to you. Inform them that you didn’t hear what they said.
  • If you are sitting through a speech, encourage friends to pass you notes instead of attempting to whisper in your ear.
  • Stand with your back to the wall. It could help block some of the background noise.
  • Request a seat at the center of the table so you don’t feel so isolated.
  • Stand away from any speakers that might interfere with your hearing aids. Don’t be shy about asking the host to turn the music down so you can hear better.
  • Give some visual cues of your own. Something as simple as cupping your hand behind your ear can let someone know you’re having a problem hearing without you needing to tell someone.
  • Maybe there is a quiet area in the room with better acoustics where you can go.
  • Your expectations have to be managed. It’s an unrealistic expectation to imagine that you will go into a party and find everything to be ideal. Your hearing loss will definitely make things more difficult. Don’t allow the challenges to stress you out, just use a sense of humor about it.
  • Go out of the room every once in a while. Some time for the brain to rest and recover will be very helpful.
  • In order to get things you might have missed, enlist a hearing buddy to sit with you.

Travel Tips

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

Taking The Train or Flying

If you prefer to fly or take a train, it can be challenging to hear announcements over the speaker. There are a few things you can do to make the trip better. Start off by checking with the airport to see if they provide any special services for the hearing impaired. There might be an app you can download on your phone that shows vital info or visual signs that show oral announcements. They might 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. Be sure to inquire a few weeks early if you want to know what is possible.

Be sure the attendants are aware that you have hearing loss when you get on board. That way if you don’t reply when they ask about a drink, they will know to tap you on the shoulder to be sure.

Lodging Tips

If you are staying at a hotel, make them aware you are hearing impaired when you make your reservation. Vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing are devices which are offered for those who suffer from hearing loss at many resorts. So they can improve your safety, some spots also have alarms that flash lights.

What Hearing Aid Essentials to Pack

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

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

Keep your hearing aids in as you pass security. You do not need to remove them. You can keep them in while flying, as well.

Lastly, if you don’t have hearing aids, maybe it’s time. There are features in quality hearing aids that will amplify sound while enhancing conversations and eliminating background noise. The holidays only come once a year. There is no reason the holidays can’t be all that you remember whether you’ve always had hearing loss or if it’s more recent. Schedule an appointment with your hearing care specialist to learn what your hearing solutions are.

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