Living with a Hearing Aid

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How to enjoy the magical sounds of the season

Reading Time: 5 min.

The holiday season is a truly magical time of year. You shouldn’t let hearing loss put a damper on your holiday spirit. Read our best tips for enjoying the magical sounds of the season.

The holiday season is usually a magical time of the year, filled with heart-warming sounds like children laughing in anticipation, festive gatherings, music and carolling, unwrapping presents, and conversations with loved ones.

But for people with hearing loss – especially when untreated – the holiday season can seem overwhelming instead of joyful. The situations that would usually bring joy cause them frustration because they are unable to hear what’s being said or what’s happening around them. This can even make some people withdraw from social activities, which can lead to loneliness and isolation instead of taking part in the holiday spirit.

To help you make the most of the holiday season despite having hearing loss, here are some useful tips. You’ll also find some tips for helping a loved one with hearing loss enjoy this wonderful time of year.

Seven tips for enjoying the season with hearing loss:

1. Be open

Your friends and family might not all know about your hearing loss. Try to build the confidence to share it with them. Their understanding can be key to helping you feel comfortable at social gatherings. This might include letting the host know about your challenges beforehand, so you have the best chance of following a conversation.

2. Turn it down

When you have a hearing loss, background noise can make it extremely challenging to follow a conversation, especially when there is overlapping chatter and table noise. Ask to have loud music turned down and the TV turned off during dinner. If you’re hosting, layer the table with one or more tablecloths to dampen noise from plates, glasses, and cutlery.

3. Best seat in the house

Make sure you’re sitting far away from loud areas such as kitchens, music sources, or a door that is in constant use. Sitting close to the people you want to talk to the most also makes conversation easier and helps you to follow one conversation at a time. If someone is giving a speech it can be beneficial to move closer to them.

4. Use your good side

If you have a good side when it comes to your hearing, try to place yourself with as many people as possible on that side.

5. Seeing is believing

If you have trouble hearing a conversation, you can benefit from lip reading and visual cues like facial expressions, so avoid anything that obstructs your view like tall candles and flower arrangements. Good lighting is also important to help see people’s faces and orientate the directions of sound.

6. Prepare your hearing aids

If you already use a hearing aid, make sure it’s in good working order and that your batteries are fully charged before big events. If not, it’s a good idea to visit your hearing care professional. Find a hearing care clinic close to you here.

7. Help others to help you

It can be tempting to laugh or nod along even when you might miss a joke or part of a conversation. But building the courage to be open and honest about your needs can help your family, friends, and hosts accommodate your hearing loss.

If you have a loved one with hearing loss, there’s also a lot you can do to help brighten their season.

5 ways to help friends and family with hearing loss feel included:

1. Create a comfort zone

Set up a separate, quieter room or space where your guest or family member with hearing loss can take a break without feeling isolated. Include games, family albums, intimate seating, and great lighting – and invite them to sit there with a smaller group for part of the evening.

2. Provide the optimal view

Try to ensure that guests with hearing loss have a good view of everyone at the dinner table and that there are no visual obstructions such as tall centrepieces or low-hanging decorations.

3. Best seat in the house

Make sure that the guests with hearing loss are sitting far away from loud areas such as kitchens, music sources, or a door that is in constant use. If someone is giving a speech it can be beneficial for them to move closer.


4. Give them a buddy

Ask a friend or family member to sit near the person with hearing loss, check in with them to make sure they’re able to follow the conversation, and be ready to pass along or repeat information if needed.

5. Make them aware

People with untreated hearing loss may not realise that their hearing is the source of frustration – or they might choose to ignore it.

If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from untreated hearing loss, it might be a good time to discuss all the benefits of better hearing! Find topics that might help guide the conversation here.


Finally, even though the holiday season is an annual occasion, these tips can be used at any time during the year.