Tips for Tackling Thanksgiving with Hearing Loss

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Managing the challenges of your daily interactions with people can be difficult when you have hearing loss.  Special occasions such as a Thanksgiving meal be an especially stressful time.  Although you may be with family and friends, not everyone in the room may be aware of your hearing loss. Here are a few tips to make sure your hearing loss doesn’t get in the way of enjoying time with family and friends.

Wear Your Hearing Aids – This may seem like a simple piece of advice, but we know that many people do not wear their hearing aids for one reason or another. Wearing your hearing aids should not be cause for embarrassment. Remember that they are there to make your life easier and allow you to more easily interact with those around you. Not wearing your hearing aids could potentially make you feel left out. If you are experiencing comfort issues, you should contact your hearing healthcare provider.

Pick your seat –  Try to sit in a location that allows you to face people and minimize background noise. Perhaps sit against a wall or opposite a window that can cast more light on the people in front of you. Find what works for you and don’t be shy to ask your host if you can sit in a designated spot. Also try conversing with those sitting closest to you.

Be truthful – Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to let people know that you are having trouble hearing. This will allow people to adjust to how they are communicating with you. The last thing you want to do nod along to a conversation at the wrong time. If you feel like you missed a part of the conversations, give a visual indicator that you did not hear it. This can make the conversation more enjoyable for everyone.

Overwhelmed? Take a breather: Don’t be shy about taking a few moments for yourself if you need to give your ears and your brain a recharge. Find a quiet spot and relax for a moment. Clearing your head for a few moments can help give you a boost of energy for getting back to the party.

The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone. Bringing these tips along with a sense of humor and your appetite will make your time with loved ones that much more enjoyable.