Communication Strategies to Make Hearing Loss Less Frustrating During the Holiday Season
Posted by Montgomery Hearing Services on December 01, 2015
The sounds of the holiday—joyous music, lively conversation and family gatherings—are a cherished part of every holiday season. But if a loved one has trouble hearing in crowded, noisy situations, or suffers any degree of hearing loss, the holidays may lose some of their luster.
A person with hearing loss symptoms may have difficulty hearing the higher pitched tones of women and children’s speech. Missing out on a grandchild’s recitation of a wish list, or not being able to contribute to a family conversation about holiday memories, can be frustrating for both the person suffering from hearing loss, as well as family members who may not be aware of the hearing problem.
There are ways to help a loved one with hearing problems better enjoy the holiday season. It takes observation, awareness and a healthy dose of patience—communication skills that are useful year round—but even more important when families and friends gather to celebrate.
• Be sure the person you are trying to communicate with is paying attention before you speak.
• Talk face-to-face, never from a different room or from behind the person.
• Dimly lit environments make it difficult to see facial expressions. Try to have conversations in areas with good lighting like a kitchen or near a window.
• While speaking, avoid activities like smoking or chewing that make lip reading difficult.
• Speak at a natural pace and volume level.
• Try to reduce background noise. Even people who wear hearing aids may have difficulty hearing in noisy situations.
The holidays often provide the perfect opportunity for a heartfelt family discussion about health concerns. Recognizing the causes and types of hearing loss can help pinpoint the problem, and rule out other medical issues.
With the support of family, a person with hearing problems may be more likely to accept the need to get hearing loss treatment, and may feel ready to take the first steps to better hearing—a hearing test, and possibly, hearing aids. What a great gift to give a loved one (or yourself) this holiday season!
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