The holidays can be frustrating if you are hard of hearing and wear hearing aids. Background noise, multiple conversations and dim lights can make navigating these gatherings difficult. With a little preparation you can help yourself and your hosts make the most of the time you spend together. Check out our holiday hearing tips!
Get Your Hearing Aids Ready
If it’s been awhile since you’ve had your hearing aids checked, now is a great time to stop by and let us clean and check them for you. Just like glasses, your aids need to be checked on occasion to keep them functioning the way you need them to. Here are some other things you can do to have your hearing aids ready to help you:
- Check on your listening environments – modern hearing aids are often programmable, allowing you to create a customized listening situation based on your environment. We can help you with that as well.
- Carry spare batteries – good advice year-round, having extra batteries on-hand will keep you in the conversation.
- Going outside? – Protection against wind and moisture are important as well. Going from cold temperatures outside immediately into warm temperatures inside can create condensation you don’t want on your aids. A dehumidifier will help keep your aids working well.
Going to Parties
If noisy environments make social gatherings difficult for you, here are some tips for navigating the situation and still have fun:
- Programmable Aids – Again – check with us about your specific device, and we can assist you in learning more about your hearing aids and teach you how to program them for different listening environments. Knowing how to do this can be a big help as you navigate your social life.
- Check in with the host/hostess – it can be tough sometimes, but let he or she know your situation, and ask to be seated where the quietest areas are in the venue. Brighter lighting can also assist you with lip reading, so assessing the lighting situation can help you as well.
- Going to a restaurant? – Restaurants can be tough listening environments. Check out online reviews when choosing a restaurant – sometimes reviewers address how noisy an establishment may be. Also consider going on off-peak times to help minimize the noise and maximize your enjoyment.
- Apps That Can Help – Accessibility apps are available for many smartphones. One we like is called Ava, which transcribes conversation in real time. It’s very accurate, too!
Choosing your seats wisely, finding accessible performances and venues are part of making sure you get the most out of seasonal performances. You may be surprised at how many venues have assistive listening devices available to you, giving you a boost – even at the movie theater. Many are compatible with your hearing aids as well.
- Telecoils – Telecoils are looped systems that connect to your hearing aid (provided your aid has the telecoil available) that can dramatically increase your ability to hear dialogue, eliminating the bulk of background noise.
- Check the venue’s website for information about their available systems, and call ahead to find out if there are performances or showings available with signing or closed captioning.
- Bluetooth streaming devices – many hearing aids are now controllable through an app on your phone, which allows you to stream sound directly to your aid and control the volume.
- Seating – Buy seats that are as close to the sound source as you can.
Holiday Hearing Tips: Protection
Let’s not forget to protect the hearing you have. Looking ahead to New Year’s Eve, be prepared and protect your ears!
- Pass on the noisemakers – those little things can be loud! Opt for poppers, confetti or silly string instead.
- Watch the volume – if you can feel the music’s *thumpthumpthump* and can’t hear the person you’re standing next to speaking, it’s too loud. Move to a quieter space.
- Bring ear plugs – ear plugs are inexpensive, you can still have a conversation with people when you’re wearing them, and go a long way toward protecting your hearing. This is especially important if you are going to a concert. You’ll still hear the music, we promise!
We’re here to help
If these holiday hearing tips don’t answer your questions, give us a call at 503-774-3668, and we’ll answer your questions about hearing aids, hearing protection, and help you with what you need. We also carry batteries, accessories, and hearing protection devices. You can also contact us here, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. At Hearing Resources Audiology Center, it’s more than an appointment; it’s a relationship.