Woman with hearing loss feeling isolated during holidays.

Other than turkey, what do you think about when a person mentions Thanksgiving? Do you begin days before, cooking and preparing with your family? Will you catch up with each other as you follow grandma’s famous homemade pecan pie recipe? Is it warm and cozy not just because of the aroma coming out of the oven, but because you’re together? Will you be laughing while the family enjoys hearing about your son’s grades or listening to the grandkids laughing and playing. Or are you fighting to hear what everyone is saying?

Hearing loss doesn’t need to define the holiday season for you. You can take control of your holiday experience, from hearing a salesperson at a noisy store to talking over drinks at the company get together. You don’t have to be held hostage by loss of hearing. Think about some tips that will help you to get the most out of the holidays in spite of your hearing loss.

Those Holiday Parties

For people with loss of hearing, get-togethers could be the biggest challenge. Here are some tricks that will make the experience less stressful:

  • Your expectations have to be managed. It’s an unrealistic expectation to think that you will stroll into a party and find everything to be ideal. Things will be more challenging due to your loss of hearing. Don’t allow the challenges to get you stressed out, just use a sense of humor about it.
  • Perhaps you could get a friend to pass you notes at a speech rather than whispering in your ears.
  • Provide some visual signs of your own. You don’t need to point it out. Something as simple as cupping your hand behind your ear can let someone know you’re struggling.
  • Stand with your back to the wall. It can help stop some of the background noise.
  • Maybe try going out of the room, even if just for a while. A little time for the brain to rest and recover will be very helpful.
  • Be aware of the visual clues. Someone is most likely talking to you if they are looking right at you. Tell them that you didn’t hear what they said.
  • Enlist a hearing buddy, a friend who sits with you who can repeat key things you might have missed.
  • Look for places in the room that have better acoustics–maybe a quiet corner.
  • Stand away from any speakers that may interfere with your hearing aids. Don’t be afraid to ask the host to turn the music down so you can hear better.
  • Ask for a seat at the middle of the table so you don’t feel so isolated.

Travel Tips

Don’t allow the difficulties of hearing loss to get in the way of your travels. Here are some tips to help make your holiday travels go smoothly.

Flying or Taking the Train

It can be challenging to hear the announcements over the speaker if you are going on a plane or taking a train. There are a few things you can do to make the trip easier. To begin with, call the airport to see if they offer any special services for the hearing impaired. There might be an app you can get on your phone that shows vital information or visual signs that show oral announcements. They could even provide a sign language interpreter or priority boarding. If being close enough to lip read or ask questions is essential, you can request priority seating. They might also offer to bring you through a select line in security, too. Be sure to ask a few weeks early if you want to know what is possible.

When you board, be sure the attendants are aware you have hearing loss. That way if you don’t reply when they ask if you want a drink, they will know to tap you on the shoulder to make sure.

Lodging Tips

When you reserve your hotel room, let them know you are hearing impaired. Vibrating alarm clocks and phones that flash lights instead of ringing are devices which are available for those who suffer from hearing loss at many resorts. So they can improve your safety, some places are also set up with alarms that flash lights.

If You Are Traveling With Hearing Aids, Take These Essentials

If this is your first vacation with your hearing aids, you may not be certain what you need to take with you. Pack these essentials:

  • Replacement batteries or a second charger
  • Additional accessories
  • A cleaning kit

As you go through security keep your hearing aids in. You are not expected to take them out. Also, during a flight, you can leave them in.

And if you don’t already own hearing aids, maybe it’s time. There are features in quality hearing aids that will amplify sound while enhancing conversations and eliminating background noise. The holidays only come once a year. Whether you have had hearing loss most of your life or are new to it, there is no reason the holidays can’t be everything you remember. Schedule an appointment with your hearing care expert to learn what your hearing solutions are.

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