When you think of the sounds of the holiday season, what comes to mind? Joyous music, conversations and gatherings of friends and family? What about those holiday dinners full of laughter and good food or even clanking glasses to celebrate the season?
Those sounds are the zest of life, but if a loved one has hearing difficulty, then those sounds that contribute to holiday traditions and fond memories may lose their luster over time if not heard as they once were. Oftentimes, noisy situations where multiple people are gathered or are talking may prove challenging to people with hearing difficulty. Often women or children’s voices contribute to more difficulty based on the pitch of their voices. Persons with untreated hearing impairment may miss parts or pieces of conversation, maybe “hear but not understand” what others may say. Missing out on those sounds and memories can often lead to frustration for the hearing impaired person and their loved ones (if unaware of hearing impairment) and can lead to isolation and depression of the hearing impaired individual if left untreated.
Here are ways to help loved ones with hearing trouble this holiday season:
- Take this time for a heartfelt discussion with your loved one if you suspect hearing trouble. With family support, your loved one may seek treatment for their hearing difficulties with a hearing doctor (audiologist) and is more likely to be successful with amplification. Taking action now helps prevent psychological effects of untreated hearing loss like depression and withdrawal.
- Make sure your gathering space is well-lit. People with untreated hearing trouble must often utilize visual cues to follow conversation
- While in conversation with a loved one with hearing loss, make sure to be facing the person or get their attention before speaking
- Reduce background noise if possible (i.e., holiday music for background settings)
- Consider leaving that special china in the cabinet. Holiday-themed paper goods will cut down on clanking dishes and may help with reducing overall noise levels.
What better gift can you give your loved one than the gift of better hearing?! Concerned about your loved one? Schedule a hearing consult with UofL Physicians-Audiology today.