For most people, the holidays represent a great time to reconnect with old family and friends. They can get together and talk about all of the great times that they had this year and in years past. However, people with hearing loss do not have the same ability to enjoy themselves as those with normal levels of hearing. We will examine how hearing loss can harm holiday get- togethers as well as ways that have been developed in order to help those who suffer from impairment.
What Does Hearing Have To Do With Holiday Cheer?
The biggest problem that people have with hearing loss during the holidays is that they are not as able to communicate with other people in social settings. In essence, no matter how hard they listen in a conversation, sometimes the words just do not get processed in the way that they should. At this point the individual with impairment is left nodding in agreement or has to ask the speaker to repeat themselves- neither one is a happy prospect.
As a result of the ineffective communicative abilities of people with hearing loss, they are at an increased danger of developing medical problems such as depression and anxiety. They become anxious about the potential awkwardness and discomfort of social interaction, and by withdrawing from social events, like holiday gatherings, they may become depressed. Of course, both of these ailments can lead to further complications for the impaired person, and can even shorten their lifespan.
Helping Them Through The Holidays
There are all different ways that you can go about helping people with hearing loss through the holiday season. The first thing that you can do is be inclusive. This means insisting that people with hearing loss feel welcome to come to your gatherings. Introduce them to other people and make sure that they are never left absolutely alone while everyone else is having fun. Make sure that you speak loud and slow, or any pace that helps you reach out to them more.
There is another great way to go about helping people with hearing loss- scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist. This unique class of medical professionals can go into the ear structure, find the cause of any impairment, and then come up with a plan to help them regain some of their hearing. There are generally two options that come up after a consultation: hearing aids or surgery. While surgery may not be in the realm of possibility for everyone, it is still a great option for some and can restore a fair amount of hearing. A hearing aid can be prescribed by a hearing specialist, and can be made to cater to the specific needs of the individual, optimizing the possible hearing levels for the amount of impairment. All of these are ways that hearing specialists can help people cope with holiday stress caused by hearing loss.