The holidays are coming! Halloween is just around the corner, and Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas promise even more fun to come. But if you or a loved one is Deaf or hard of hearing, you know these exciting gatherings can actually be difficult, chaotic, and alienating for those with hearing loss. When 2-3 out of every 1,000 children and 15% of adults experience a hearing deficit, there’s a good chance someone at your high-volume Halloween party is struggling to hear, or may even be sustaining extra damage to their ears.
The hearing specialists at Francis Audiology believe that everyone should be able to participate in holiday fun! Here are four ways families, friends, and patients themselves can all pitch in to make the holidays accessible to those who are hearing impaired:
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings. Whether at a restaurant with friends and family or escorting a gaggle of children through the neighborhood, a hearing person can always do their best to accommodate someone with a hearing impairment. If someone has hearing loss in one ear (also known as unilateral hearing loss), try speaking toward their “good” side. If a child in your family or trick-or-treating group seems to be ignoring you, make sure they can hear you before you scold them, as hearing loss in children is often mistaken for behavioral conditions like ADHD and autism. If your child is Deaf or hard of hearing, it’s also important to double-check their hearing aids and set some important ground rules for safety before heading out for Halloween or Christmas carols.
- Get a Hearing Aid Checkup. There is one upside to a little extra noise during the holiday season: it’s a great opportunity for patients with hearing aids to put their device to the test. If you find yourself having difficulty hearing in noisy environments even with the help of your hearing aid, it may be time to visit your audiologist. The Francis Audiology hearing center offers hearing aid repair services, as well as hearing aid evaluations and fittings to help you find the best hearing aids for your needs.
- Manage the Volume. During noisy holiday events like Halloween parties and Thanksgiving dinners, be considerate of those who have difficulty hearing in crowds. When passing out plates and silverware, do your best to minimize clatter. When you can, keep background noise from music and television to a minimum, and maybe consider putting on subtitles to go along with the audio. This isn’t just an accommodation measure for someone who has already sustained hearing loss: loud noise can damage anyone's ears, making volume control an important part of hearing loss prevention.
- Schedule a Hearing Test. If you, a parent, or a child have never had a hearing test but tend to feel frustration during holiday dinners and gatherings, it’s absolutely time to make an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing test. A professional ear doctor can help you understand the source of your hearing difficulty, and eventually begin developing a rehabilitation plan to recover some of the hearing you’ve lost.
Hearing should never be an obstacle to living your best life!
When hearing friends and family work together with patients and audiologists, the holidays can be a time for everyone to celebrate!
Ready to schedule your hearing test before the holidays? Let us know! You can request an appointment from us online or contact us at 412-123-3456. We offer all the help you, your parent or your child needs to hear the sounds of the season loud and clear!