Whether you love or hate the Holidays, they will be here before we know it. Soon, families will gather around the dinner table sharing stories, eating delicious food, and filling each other in on what’s been happening in their lives. With hearing loss, it can be intimidating to attend holiday parties, sit down dinners, or any social function where small talk is required. Follow along for tips and strategies those with hearing loss can incorporate for family and friend gatherings this holiday season.
Get Your Hearing Tested
There is still time to get your hearing loss tested and treated before the Holidays sneak up on us. If you experience any trouble with your hearing, don’t wait to schedule a hearing test. Many people avoid taking immediate action, which can speed up the decline of your hearing loss over time.
It is very easy to overestimate or underestimate your hearing difficulty. An audiologist can perform a comprehensive hearing evaluation to determine the degree of hearing loss and the part of ear (outer, middle, inner) that is causing your hearing loss. Based off of your results and the degree of hearing loss you experience (slight, mild, moderate, severe, profound) an experienced audiologist can recommend the best treatment for you, which oftentimes is a hearing aid device.
At Lake Shore Audiology, we offer hearing aids best suited for your lifestyle and budget. During a hearing aid evaluation, you will meet with a licensed professional who will discuss with you the different styles, colors, technologies, and benefits to wearing hearing aids. Once you pick out your hearing aid, we will make adjustments so it properly fits you. Click here to learn more [link].
Make Sure Hearing Aids Are Properly Working
It’s important you test your hearing aids a few days before you attend social gatherings to make sure they are working properly. The first thing you will want to monitor is the batteries. Be sure to check there is no dirt, wax or debris interfering with the batteries performance.
If you find the batteries in your hearing aid device are not working, Lake Shore Audiology keeps a supply of batteries you can purchase in our office. In addition, we provide in-office services for minor hearing aid repairs if your hearing aid is not working properly.
Fight off Listening Fatigue With These 5 Strategies
Did you know that there is an actual term used to describe feeling exhausted from social interactions? This is known as listening fatigue, and it is very common for those who experience hearing loss. Listening fatigue is a feeling of burnout and exhaustion after trying to intensely listen and follow conversations. For someone with hearing loss, the brain must work harder to make sense of the information it receives from the inner ear, which can be mentally exhausting.
Everyone gets drained from small talk conversations with relatives during the holiday season. Imagine just how tired someone with hearing loss feels. So, what exactly can an individual with hearing loss do to fight off listening fatigue at social gatherings? Follow these 5 tips below:
- Take Breaks: It’s okay to go into a quiet room for a little to recharge your social battery and take a break from the party. Step out for 10-20 minutes and come back to the group when you feel ready.
- Don’t Be Hard On Yourself: Don’t expect to understand everything that people are saying. This is unrealistic and will only make you feel more drained from trying too hard to keep up. Relax and do your best to respond to the things you hear and comprehend.
- Have Someone Nearby Help Restate Things Said: If you suffer from severe hearing loss, it may be a good idea to have someone sit next you at the dinner table who can restate things that you may have missed. It can be difficult to hear what someone from across the table said. So, having someone next to you restate it will make you feel more apart of the conversation.Plus, you won’t have to put all your energy and focus into following conversations. This will help reduce feelings of tiredness / listening fatigue.
- Limit Background Noise: Too much noise can be overstimulating, especially for someone with hearing loss. If you are having a hard time hearing others due to background TV or music playing, don’t be afraid to politely request it be turned down. Someone else in the room may be thinking the same thing as you and glad you asked of this.
- Volunteer To Help With Dinner: Having a task to help with, such as setting the table, or prepping dinner can be rewarding for various reasons. First of all, you will feel good to be contributing and helping the host of the party and they will be appreciative of you stepping up to help out. This is also a great strategy to keep your mind focused, and minimize the distractions around you. When you are focused on the task at hand, you will forget about your worries of hearing others and trying to listen intensely to conversations. This will help your mind stay sharp and reduce listening fatigue from taking over.
Don’t wait until it’s too late — seek treatment for hearing loss before the Holiday Season arrives. Doing so will ensure you won’t miss a moment, and can confidently socialize with all of the special people in your life.If you or someone you know struggles with hearing loss, schedule an appointment with us at Lake Shore Audiology. Our professional audiologists will help test and provide treatment best suited towards your specific hearing loss. Contact us today at 716-674-4188.