November 14, 2018 Hearing Tips
With the holiday season approaching, most of us find ourselves reconnecting with family, friends and loved ones at the dining table. For people with hearing loss this can be more stressful than it is rewarding. You may look around the table and find fulfilling conversations being had, friends and family laughing and nodding their heads in agreement while you just perceive ... well ... GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE! The goal of appropriately selected and fit devices is to NOT have this happen. You should be partaking in and engaged in these joyous conversations rather than sitting on the sidelines, leave that to the football players on the television in the corner that is distracting you while all this is going on. The following are some tips to help give you the best hearing ability when dining:
1. It all starts with the hearing aids!
Ensure you are using a device that is appropriate for your unique type and degree of hearing loss and that an Audiologist is managing your care! If you are using inappropriate devices you will get undesirable results, especially when you need to be able to hear your best! Moving forward, make sure your hearing aids are cleaned and checked prior to going on your trip. The majority of issues arise from a clogged wax filter that protects the speaker on your devices or a dead battery. Just as you would check your car tires prior to embarking on a road trip, same thing applies to checking your hearing aids.
2. Communication Strategies and Self-Advocacy
Make sure you let your friends and family know you have a hearing loss. People who do not have hearing difficulty will speak fast, mumble and not face you. It is okay to let people know to slow down, enunciate and face you when speaking. If people are not made aware of your hearing needs, they will not know to change their communication style.
3. Manipulate Your Environment
One to one conversation is often simpler in quiet rather than in noise. One way to decrease interference is turn the television down or off when sitting at the table (you shouldn’t be watching the game when you are dining anyways, enjoy the human interaction!). Try and put your back to the kitchen area to reduce any kitchen clanking sounds. Seat harder to understand family members in front of you and take advantage of the directional microphones that come with your aids! If you have single-sided deafness, try to sit in a position where your “good ear” faces your communication partner.
In conclusion, with appropriately selected and fit devices, you should be hearing the best possible with your unique ears! The holidays should be effortless and enjoyable. Not being able to hear should be the least of your worries! Stop by Tustin Hearing Center and ensure you give yourself the best chance of hearing well during the holidays!
Dr. Kasra Abolhosseini
Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.)/ Fellow of American Academy of Audiology (F-AAA)
Tustin Hearing Center