For many, holiday events will be held virtually this year. For people with hearing loss, this presents a possible challenge.
Minimize any background noise, such as music playing in the background. Make sure you choose a place with good internet connection, as poor audio and visual quality can lead to communication challenges. Ensure your face is well lit and the lighting is good so individuals with hearing loss can lipread as needed.
For additional information visit 12 Tips for navigating video calls.
If you have hearing loss, events during the holidays can be noisy and challenging. Here you will find tips & tricks to help you navigate communication and conversation like a pro during the holiday season.
1. Let People Know
Let people know you have difficulty hearing and what they can do to help you understand. Your reduced hearing is invisible, the signs of your reduced hearing are not. Unfortunately, some of the signs may be misinterpreted by others.
2. Use Your Technology (hearing aids, pocket talker, etc.)
There is a large variety of Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) such as devices for the phone, signalling devices, and listening devices. Your audiologist or local hearing care professional will be able to help you find assistive technology that suits your lifestyle and listening needs.
3. Sit So That You Can See The Most People
Along with sitting in an area that has good lighting, position yourself so that you can clearly see the faces of the people you are eating with.
4. Learn to Lipread
For people with hearing loss lipreading can greatly improve the amount of speech understood. Courses like, Read Our Lips are a great tool to improve your communication and give you the confidence to navigate social situations.
"I use the knowledge taken from this class every day and no longer feel uncomfortable in crowds and noisy situations" - Ron C
5. Keep Extra Hearing Aid Batteries With You.
If your hearing technology requires batteries, be prepared and keep extras with you. Extra batteries allow you to easily avoid confusion and frustration if your current battery dies.
6. Ask For Listening Devices
There is a wealth of technology available to help those with reduced hearing listen in different environments. A lot of popular event spaces like churches and concert venues are starting to offer listening systems and other hearing devices for their visitors. Call the venue to ask if hearing technology is available for your upcoming holiday event(s).
7. Take “Listening Breaks”
Trying to hear in noisy rooms when you have hearing loss takes a lot of effort. It can be very tiring and sometimes breaks are needed. So sit back and relax. Turn off the music, take out your hearing aids or other hearing devices, and take a quiet moment for yourself.
8. Shopping Without Frustration
Try to do your holiday shopping in the morning or at a time when you feel the most awake and alert.
When you are tired it becomes harder to listen and lipread. If you shop at a time when you’re alert you are more likely to be patient and clear-headed.
9. Choose Your Events Wisely
There are always important social events during the holidays, most with crowds and background noise. It’s important to recognize your own hearing needs and choose the holiday events that are most important to you.
10. Turn Down The Volume
Holiday events can be noisy, and for someone with hearing loss, background noise can be a huge communication barrier. You can always politely ask the host to turn down the volume for better listening.