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Hearing Loss and Happier Holidays

For those people with hearing loss, the holidays can be a very challenging time. Trying to hear, understand and participate in festivities in a crowded room can be difficult, depressing and frustrating, leading to feelings of isolation. Even when surrounded by loved ones, a family member's impaired ability to hear and actively participate in conversation cuts them off.

Tips for the Holidays  

Be up front with those around you as to what you can and cannot hear.
Background music is nice but creates difficulties for those who can’t hear as well as for those with hearing aids. Take a few minutes to let the others around you know how best to communicate with you.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask that music be turned down. 
  • Ask people to speak clearly and not too fast and to talk to you on the side on which you hear the best.
  • Face the person as you speak

Take a Break and Re-energize
It takes a lot of focus and energy to hear in a crowded noisy environment.  It helps to take a break and relax in a quieter setting. Go outdoors if you can or sit in a quieter room for a few minutes before you tackle more conversations.

For hearing-impaired children, it is important to take steps to ensure a child isn’t left out of the fun and excitement. If a child uses an FM listening device at school or at home, consider using it during the holidays.

Protect a child’s hearing and don’t buy noisy toys
Some toys are so loud that they can potentially cause hearing damage. Certain toy guns, horns and sirens, squeaky toys and musical instruments are as loud as a lawnmower and dangerous to a child's hearing if used for prolonged periods of time.

If you suspect someone has untreated hearing loss, suggest they get their hearing tested to improve their quality of life.