Holiday Hearing Loss

A few weeks ago we wrote about hearing issues during the winter months, and though we touched on it briefly, we wanted to devote a little more time to an issue that many will face over the next few weeks: hearing loss during the holidays.

Parties

The audiologists at REM have said this a lot: if you have a hearing impairment, it’s crucial to continue to socialize. This is true for those new to hearing aids, or for those who have been wearing hearing aids their entire lives.

Socializing = brain training. The more you practice hearing speech in noise, the better your comprehension will become over time.

AARP provides some good tips about how to best approach parties with a hearing impairment. These tips include focusing on one speaker at a time, strategic seating, and breaks.

“If you miss a word, or a sentence, or even the gist of a conversation, examine your reaction. Do you panic? Get depressed or angry? None of these reactions is going to improve things. Stay calm and focused, and move on.”

Travel

The holiday season also means a lot of travel. When traveling, it’s important to make sure your aids and devices are working properly and in good shape. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries, as well.

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, it’s also important to know your rights while traveling. The article has a lot of important info, but perhaps the most pressing concern is your right as a passenger. According to the HLAA, “the airline is responsible to provide information to individuals with hearing loss,” but only if the passenger has alerted them to their impairment.

Be sure to check out the entire piece for information about security and ADA requirements.

Stress

Most importantly – and this is something we’ve said a lot as well – be sure to enjoy the holiday season. The next month is stressful under the best of circumstances, and if you’re struggling with your hearing, that stress is likely to be compounded. Though it is important to socialize, take the advice from that AARP article. Don’t be ashamed to take a step back and simply enjoy the world around you.