Like everything else in 2020, Thanksgiving festivities are going to be a challenge. Bringing people together during the COVID-19 pandemic will present a number of issues. And there’ll be the aftermath of the election. That’s a lot on the proverbial table this year.
But for anyone with hearing issues, these kinds of gatherings — which usually mean a generous amount of noise stuffed into a confined space — have always been an experiment in coping.
The fact is that “crowded” audio environments are the toughest, whether someone uses a hearing aid or not.
Here are some tips on dealing with the challenges at hand:
- A good place to start, if you do have a hearing aid — especially if you got it recently — is to use it! Don’t let pride or embarrassment (or false confidence that your hearing isn’t that bad) get in the way of communicating. It’s not uncommon for people to not want to advertise their need for a hearing aid. But really, let that go.
- Likewise, don’t be shy about telling people who may not know it that you’re hearing challenged — and that you need to see them clearly when they speak to better understand them.
- Where you spend your time is important too. Try not to sit in the middle of the table, since that will mean dealing with sound from both sides simultaneously. Avoid being too close to the TV.
- And taking a break — like sitting in a quiet room or taking a walk — can do wonders for your ability to process sound after concentrating in a noisy environment.
Everyone will be facing a uniquely challenging holiday season this year. Don’t let any hearing issues add to the list.