Christmas is the time for parties, dinners and crowds, but for those of us with hearing difficulties it is also the season of saying, "What?, Uh?, say that again, and are you talking to me?". I happen to be totally deaf in one ear and have a hearing lost in the other ear. The result at those dinners and parties is everyone conversation around me all flow into one ear and the result is chaos in understanding anything. I try to avoid those social events but at this time of the year I find I may have to attend one or two of them. Usually I look for the ones that have the least amount of people in the room and by their nature will have less outside the group noise going on (piped in music, bands, heavy traffic of people walking or passing by,).
I recently received an advertisement from a hearing center and they had a few suggestions that would apply at this time of year for those of us who have hearing problems.
1 - Don't be shy - remind your friends and family that you have a hearing difficulty. They'll be reminded to slow down, speak up, and be more attentive to your needs.
2- Strategic Seating - If gathering for a meal, ask to be seated at an end of the table so you won't have multiple conversations on either side of you.
3 - Smaller Groups - Is your party dining at multiple tables? If possible request to sit with a smaller group to focus on conversations more easily.
4 - Turn Down The Volume - Is there music playing or a television on during your meal? Ask your host to turn down the volume so you can enjoy every one's company better.
5 - Pack Your Accessories - If you wear a hearing aid, travel with extra batteries and a hearing aid cleaning kit.