We are right in the middle of the holiday season, and everyone is rushing around to get things ready. Whether that means shopping for gifts, figuring out travel plans or making a trip with family to see the Holiday Lights at Gring’s Mill there is a lot to do.
While for many of us it’s a joyous time, it can also be quite stressful. This can be especially true if you have hearing loss and are concerned about your ability to socialize at holiday gatherings.
The good news is there are several steps you can take to make the holidays less stressful and enjoy time with your loved ones!
Be Open with Your Family and Friends About Hearing Loss
Let your loved ones know about your hearing loss. There is no need to be embarrassed about asking people for help so that you can better understand them. A few things you could do if you run into trouble include:
- Ask for any clarification or for someone to rephrase something if you didn’t catch it the first time.
- If you are in a larger group, and there is a particular person you most want to talk with, try to sit or stand as close to them as possible.
- If you get lost, ask someone near you what the topic of conversation is so that you can join in if you desire.
- If you are having a virtual holiday celebration, ask that everyone take turns speaking instead of talking all at once.
Spend Time in Smaller Groups
Not all holiday celebrations have to be big get-togethers. Try seeing if a friend or family member (or two) feels like going on a nice, wintry walk with you. Or if you are at a big dinner or party step away to a quieter room and spend some time catching up with a loved one you haven’t seen in a while. This way you can enjoy the connections that come with the holidays without feeling overwhelmed or struggling to hear in big groups.
Hearing Aids Can Make All the Difference
If you have hearing loss, the best solution for helping you communicate with others this holiday season is to use hearing aids.
A study published in The Hearing Journal examined the relationship between quality of life and hearing aid use. Among other things, they found that nearly 70% of patients using hearing aids reported an improved ability to communicate with others.
Regardless of how you celebrate the holidays, most people value the time spent with loved ones the most. Hearing aids can help you stay connected to them and feel confident in your ability to communicate.
If you have hearing aids, make sure to bring them to any holiday event. If you are traveling for a few days don’t forget things like extra batteries or other accessories you may need. If you have hearing loss, but do not use hearing aids, consider scheduling a hearing test as your new year’s resolution.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an expert audiologist, call us at Pinnacle ENT Associates today.