Despite Your Hearing Loss, You Can Still Have Fun During the Holidays

Family enjoying Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner together around the dining table at grandmother's home.

So, so many family get-togethers.

During the holiday seasons, it probably feels like you’re meeting (or re-meeting) a new long-lost relative every other weekend. The holiday season can be enjoyable (and also difficult) for this reason. Usually, it’s easy to look forward to this yearly catching up. You get to find out what everybody’s been doing all year.

But when you’re dealing with hearing loss, those family gatherings may feel a little less inviting. What’s the reason for this? What are the effects of hearing loss at family get-togethers?

Your ability to communicate with others can be significantly impacted by hearing loss, and also the ability of others to communicate with you. The end result can be a discouraging feeling of alienation, and it’s an especially distressing sensation when it happens around the holidays. Hearing specialists and professionals have developed some go-to tips that can help make your holidays more pleasant, and more rewarding, when you have hearing loss.

Tips to help you enjoy the holiday season

During the holidays, there’s so much to see, like decorations, gifts, food and so much more. But there’s also so much to hear: how your nephew is doing in school, how your cousin’s pond hockey team is doing, and on, and on.

These tips are designed to help be certain that you keep experiencing all of those moments of reconnection during the course of holiday gatherings.

Avoid phone calls – use video instead

For family and friends, Zoom video calls can be a great way to keep in touch. That’s particularly true if you have hearing loss. If you have hearing loss and you want to touch base with loved ones over the holidays, try using video calls instead of traditional phone calls.

When it comes to communicating with hearing loss, phones present a particular obstacle. The voice on the other end can feel garbled and difficult to understand, and that can certainly be frustrating. You won’t get better audio quality from a video call, but you will at least have visual cues to help figure out what’s being said. From body language to facial expressions, video calls provide added context, and that will help the conversation have a better flow.

Tell people the truth

Hearing loss is very common. It’s crucial to tell people if you need help. It doesn’t hurt to ask for:

  • People to repeat things, but requesting that they rephrase as well.
  • A quieter place to talk.
  • Your family and friends to talk a little slower.

When people know that you have hearing loss, they’re not as likely to become annoyed if you need something repeated more than once. As a result, communication has a tendency to flow a little smoother.

Select your areas of conversation wisely

During the holidays, there are always topics of conversation you want to steer clear of. So you’re cautious not to say anything that might offend people, but instead, wait for them to bring up any delicate subject matter. When you have hearing loss, this even more important, only instead of avoiding certain topics of conversation, you should carefully steer clear of specific spaces in a home which make hearing conversations more difficult.

deal with it like this:

  • When you find a place to sit, try to put a back to a wall. That way, at least there won’t be people talking behind you.
  • There will be quieter areas in the home where you have conversations. Perhaps that means moving away from the noisy television or removing yourself from areas of overlapping conversations.
  • For this reason, keep your discussions in settings that are well-lit. If there isn’t enough light, you won’t be capable of picking up on context clues or read lips.
  • Try to find places that have less activity and fewer people walking by and distracting you. This will put you in a stronger position to read lips more effectively.

So what if you’re in the noisy kitchen, filling up your mug of hot chocolate, and your niece begins talking to you? In cases like this, there are a couple of things you can do:

  • Quietly lead your niece to a spot that has less going on. Be sure to explain that’s what you’re doing.
  • If there’s music playing in the area, politely ask the host to turn the music down so you can hear your niece a little better.
  • Suggest that you and your niece go someplace quieter to talk.

Communicate with the flight crew

So, you’re thinking: what are the impacts of hearing loss at family gatherings that aren’t as apparent? You know, the ones you don’t see coming?

Lots of people fly around during the holidays, it’s especially important for families that are fairly spread out. It’s important that you can comprehend all of the guidelines coming from the flight crew when you fly. Which is why it’s really significant to tell the flight crew that you have problems hearing or experience hearing loss. This way, if necessary, the flight crew can take extra care to provide you with additional visual guidelines. When you’re flying, it’s essential that you don’t miss anything!

Take breaks

When you have hearing loss, communication can become a lot of effort. You will frequently find yourself exhausted more often than before. This means that it’s important to take frequent breaks. This will give your ears, and, perhaps more significantly, your brain, some time to catch a breath.

Consider getting hearing aids

How are relationships affected by hearing loss? Well, as should be clear by now, in a lot of ways!

One of the major advantages of hearing aids is that they will make almost every interaction with your family through the holidays smoother and more rewarding. And no more asking people what they said.

Put simply, hearing aids will help you reconnect with your family.

It could take a little time to get used to your new hearing aids. So you shouldn’t wait until just before the holidays to pick them up. Everybody will have a different experience. So speak with us about the timing.

You don’t have to get through the holidays by yourself

It can feel like you’re alone sometimes, and that nobody understands what you’re dealing with when you have hearing loss. In this way, it’s almost like hearing loss impacts your personality. But you aren’t alone. You can get through many of the challenges with our help.

The holidays don’t have to be a time of trepidation or anxiety (that is, any more than they usually are). With the correct approach, you can look forward to seeing, and hearing, your family during this time of year.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.