The sounds of the holidays; joyous music, lively conversation and family gatherings are a cherished part of every holiday season. But if a loved one has trouble hearing in crowded, noisy situations, or suffers any degree of hearing loss, the holidays may lose some of their luster.
A person with hearing loss symptoms may have difficulty hearing the higher pitched tones of children’s (and women‘s) speech. Missing out on a grandchild’s recitation of a wish list, or not being able to contribute to a family conversation about holiday memories, can be frustrating for both the person suffering from hearing loss, as well as family members who may not be aware of the hearing problem.
There are ways to help a loved one with hearing problems enjoy the holiday season. It takes observation, awareness and a healthy dose of patience – communication skills that are useful year round- but may be even more important when families and friends gather to celebrate.
• Be sure the person is paying attention before you speak.
• Speak face-to-face, never from a different room or from behind.
• Dimly lit situations make it difficult to see facial expressions. Try to have conversations
in areas with good lighting like a kitchen or near a window.
• While speaking, avoid activities like smoking or chewing that make lip reading difficult.
• Speak at a natural pace and volume level.
• Try to reduce background noise. Even people who wear hearing aids may have
difficulty hearing in noisy situations.
The holidays often provide the perfect opportunity for a heartfelt family discussion about health concerns. Recognizing the causes and types of hearing loss can help pinpoint the problem, and rule out other medical issues.
With the support of family, a person with hearing problems may be more able to accept the need to get hearing loss treatment, and may be ready to take the first steps to better hearing – a hearing test, and, if necessary, hearing aids. What a great gift to give a loved one (or yourself) this holiday season!
Avoid unnecessary frustrations this Holiday season by simply submitting your information in the Contact Us form and we will be in touch to answer all of your questions or schedule a free appointment. We look forward to helping make your season free from struggles with hearing loss and full of joy.
Dr. Deborah Reed