We at Centers for Hearing Care immensely enjoy the holiday season and all that comes with it; family dinners, gatherings with friends, and holiday parties. However, with that being said, all the socializing can become exhausting and sometimes overwhelming. For someone who has a hearing loss, this season can be particularly taxing.  The amount of concentration required to hear at these holiday gatherings can really take the fun out of them. Which is why I want to share a few pointers on how to get through this holiday season with more joy and less stress.

How To Enjoy The Sounds of The Season:

Wear your hearing aids –

You may think that with so much noise at a party or family dinner, hearing aids would just make things louder, but modern digital hearing aids aren’t simple sound amplifiers. They are designed to filter out all the unwanted background noise, like the clanging of dishes in the kitchen,  and help you focus on speech.

Help guests with hearing loss –

Consider turning down the background music, if any, or turning it off completely. People tend to speak louder to be heard over the music. Your music may, in fact, make the party louder.

Pick a good spot –

At a sit-down meal, try to grab a seat at the middle of the table. This way you have a better chance of hearing more conversation and enjoying your meal. At a cocktail party, scope out a quieter area of the room away from the music and high traffic areas like the buffet or bar area.

Don’t fake it –

It can be very tempting to just nod along and pretend you hear what others are saying or laugh just because others are laughing. What are you agreeing to?  Be honest if you’re having trouble hearing, you won’t regret it.

Take a break if you need one –

All the hustle and bustle can be overbearing, so give your ears and brain a rest for a few minutes. Head to the restroom, find a quiet spot in another room or go outside to clear your head and build up some energy for another round of socializing.

Have realistic expectations –

You probably won’t hear everything that everyone says, and that’s ok. Enjoy talking to the people near you, then seek out others to talk with during other parts of the party.

The most important tip I have for you as an audiologist in Ohio, though, is to have fun! Appreciate this time with family and friends and enjoy the sights and sounds the holiday season brings.