The holiday season is a time of year where friends and family come together. Shopping, eating, decorating and travel are just a few of the seasonal activities that can bring us together. For many of us, the holiday season is a time of great happiness and joy.
However, for some of the estimated 65 million Americans living with some degree of hearing loss, the holidays can be a very lonely time indeed.
Hearing Loss and the Holiday Blues
The holiday season means a busier social calendar for many of us. Family gatherings and office parties are common. For individuals with a hearing loss, the increase in social events can be challenging. Struggling to hear and participate in the conversations can be frustrating. As a result, some people with hearing loss will opt to avoid social gatherings altogether.
Studies have linked untreated hearing loss to loneliness, depression and stress. These feelings can intensify during the holiday season, particularly given the increase in social gatherings. Social isolation leads to further feelings of loneliness, and so the cycle continues.
If your hearing loss has you feeling the holiday blues, here are some tips to keep your season merry and bright.
Positioning matters, especially when you have a hearing loss. Where you choose to stand or sit at a social gathering can help, or hinder, your hearing ability. If you’re going to be seated at a table, try to choose a seat that gives you the best visibility of everyone’s faces. This will make reading lips far easier!
Perhaps you’ve been invited to a cocktail party. Opt for somewhere that has minimal background noise. A wall behind you can help to reduce background noise. If the party spans multiple rooms, choose the quietest room. Position yourself away from speakers or high traffic areas like the bar.
Don’t be afraid to speak up about your hearing. A gentle reminder to friends and family can help them accommodate your hearing needs. Ask people to face you directly when speaking to you and speak clearly. For more communication tips, click here.
Wear Your Hearing Aids
If you are a hearing aid wearer, make sure you wear them. Social gatherings may require you to adjust your settings slightly to accommodate for a different listening environment. Try adjusting your settings ahead of any party or event to avoid you fiddling with your hearing devices while you’re there.
Don’t Struggle Any Longer
Untreated hearing loss has been linked to social isolation, anxiety and depression. Left untreated, it can have a wide reaching impact on the quality of your life. If you suspect that you may be experiencing a hearing loss, book in a hearing assessment.
At Hearing Balance & Speech Center, our hearing care professionals can help find the hearing solution that’s right for you. Treating a hearing loss can open up a whole new world of sound - one that’s worth experiencing in 2020! Call us on 1-800-HEAR-IT-1 or click here to request an appointment online.