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The holiday season is exciting, but can be stressful at times. Don’t make your hearing loss something to stress about! Follow this guide to survive the holiday madness with your ears and sanity intact, so you can focus on more important things like roasting your turkey to perfection and nabbing the best deal on Black Friday.

Take it easy

Don’t be hard on yourself – the holidays are tough for anyone with hearing loss. Go into the holiday season with a plan to make sure you don’t miss anything important and focus on the things that you can control.

Remember to Prepare

Don’t forget to bring your hearing aids with you, wherever you go for your Thanksgiving meal. Wearing your hearing aids will help you understand others and participate in table conversations with ease.

Be Patient

Your relatives may not have a lot of experience dealing with hearing loss. Avoid feeling left out or patronized by patiently explaining your needs. It will make you and everyone else feel more comfortable.

Put your best ear forward

If you have a better ear, take it into consideration when choosing your seat. You want your better ear to face as many people as possible for a better hearing experience.

Say what?

If you miss something in a conversation, try to ask for exactly what you missed. For example, “What did you say her name was?” It shows that you’re paying attention!

Catch Up

Thanksgiving can be a great time to catch up with relatives that you otherwise rarely see. Have some quality one-on-one time with your loved ones; it will strengthen your bond and be much easier to hear than it would be in a group setting. If you have young children in your family, volunteer to read a bedtime story.

Strike up a conversation

When you set the topic, the conversation will be a lot easier to follow. Not only that, taking the initiative will boost your confidence and make you more enjoyable to be around. That’s a win-win!

Put your apron on

The kitchen is always in action for Thanksgiving, and likely not as noisy as other festivities going on. Avoid straining to hear in the crowd and opt to join a smaller coterie of cooks. You may learn a thing or two.

Turn off the game

Some may consider football to be as essential to Thanksgiving as the turkey, but game-day sounds can be distracting for someone with hearing loss trying to engage in conversation. Consider having a separate room for watching the game, and turn it off or keep it on mute during the meal.

Turn down the tunes

Holiday music may set the mood, but like the game, it can make it very difficult for someone with hearing loss to distinguish conversation. At the very least, avoid background music during your Thanksgiving meal.

Take a break

Hearing can be hard work! Find a quiet spot, or choose an activity that doesn’t require much social interaction. If you still want to be involved, try washing the dishes. Not even someone with perfect hearing can hear over all that running water!


by Alice Stejskal