HEARING AT THE THANKSGIVING TABLE

It’s no secret that hearing conversation at a crowded family dinner can be difficult – especially if you have a hearing loss. While Thanksgiving can be a great way to catch up with family and friends, it can prove challenging and tiring for people with hearing loss. Luckily, hearing aid technology allows you to be more in the moment at family gatherings. If you have hearing aids, it’s important that you wear them to your Thanksgiving dinner. You may think that with so much noise at a party or family dinner, hearing aids would just make things louder. But modern digital hearing aids aren’t simple sound amplifiers. They are designed to filter out the unwanted background noise and help you focus on speech.

Two hearing aid features in particular are put to work in crowds:

  • The Speech Enhancer- Widex hearing aids reduce noise by using a speech enhancer. This technology works to reduce background noise and helps you focus on what you need to hear.
  • Directional Microphones- directional microphones work to reduce the amount of noise allowed to enter your hearing aids. In noisy environments, like at a large family dinner table, the system will work to pick up the least amount of noise. If the noise is located behind you, your directional microphones will adapt to pick up sound from in front of you and dampen noise from behind you.

Here are some tips on helping your guests with hearing loss enjoy your party:

  • Background music- most everyone loves music. But with conversations of 20+ people, usually no one can hear it anyways. Consider turning down the background music – or turning it off completely when several guests are socializing at once. People tend to speak louder to be heard over the music, so your music may in fact make the party louder.
  • Dish Duty- hold off on cleaning the dishes until after your guests have left. For people with hearing loss, the clatter of kitchen dishes can distract from dinnertime conversation. Take time to enjoy your guests rather than worrying about the clean-up!
  • Seating-if you know that one of your guests has a hearing loss, seat that person at the center of the table closest to those with the quietest voices. It may also help if you sit next to that person, so you can help him or her to better understand the conversation.

Have the “hearing loss” conversation

 

Holiday gatherings are a good time to have “the conversation” with friends and loved ones. We’re talking about the conversation about hearing loss and getting hearing aids. If you think your loved one is unable to hear correctly, encourage them to get a professional evaluation. This is a great first step in helping someone realize they are missing the wonderful family conversations at holiday time.

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