How to navigate holiday background noise

There’s no need to decline an invitation to a work party or family gathering because of anticipated background noise. Here are 5 strategies Blamey Saunders hears recommends for socialising. Combine with hearing aids for best results.

1. Avoid the middle of the room.

  1. a) If you wear hearing aids with directional microphones, situate yourself so that your back faces the room and your friends have their backs to the wall.
  2. b) If you don’t wear hearing aids, stand with your back to the wall so that your friends face you and the wall behind you.

2. Put yourself in the best position.

Stay relatively close to the person you’re talking to; sound waves don’t travel well. If you have better hearing in one ear, place yourself in the best spot to take advantage of it.

3. Don’t hide your hearing loss.

This may be easier said than done, but letting other people know about your hearing opens up an opportunity to educate them on the best ways to communicate with you. You can explain that you hear easier when they: speak clearly, face you, and get your attention before talking to you. Most people will be accommodating.

4. Ask the host to turn down unnecessary background noise.

People without hearing loss struggle in background noise, too. Chances are if you’re finding the music or TV too loud, so are other people in the room.

5. Wear hearing aids!

We can’t over-emphasise the importance of wearing hearing aids if you have them. There’s no better substitute when it comes to the ways they help you take part in a conversation.

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