Don’t Let Your Ears Be a Casualty of Black Friday

Never mind supply chain issues, this year’s Black Friday will be a bigger affair than last year’s. That means it will be loud and proud.

If this is an annual ritual you’re looking forward to—while also dealing with hearing loss issues—then it’s best to enter the fray with a plan.

The first serious day of Christmas shopping is a donnybrook.

Having a plan is key. You really don’t want to try to get consumer information from an overworked retail worker amid the fray. Especially if hearing in crowded, loud situations is already a challenge. So do some research and know what you want to buy and avoid doing comparison shopping, which might entail trying to communicate in a hostile environment.

If you do have to try to have meaningful communication in a crowded store, then don’t beat around the bush. Let them know upfront you’re hearing challenged. If your hearing aids have settings for dealing with ambient noise conditions, then go to that program for the best results.

Having a shopping wingmate can work wonders. A younger relative or friend to help you run the gauntlet.

And don’t try to do too much too often. Schedule in a break from the loudness, whether that’s a quiet lunch or a walk away from the heart of commerce. Just like your brain likes to take a break, your ears actually respond positively to a pause from loud conditions.

And if the Friday after Thanksgiving is gonna be a cold one, then remember to have a warm hat at the ready if you’re going to be outside in the elements.