It’s that time of year again, when you join family and friends to celebrate the holidays. But if you are hard of hearing, it might be a challenge to enjoy the hustle and bustle fully. A noisy dinner conversation can leave you exhausted by the effort spent trying to understand what everyone is saying.
With that in mind, we’d like to share some tips to help make communication easier and the season more enjoyable for everyone regardless of hearing ability. We encourage you to share these with your loved ones, so that they know how to make you feel fully included this season, and all year ’round.
Face the person to whom you are speaking
Ensure that someone with hearing loss can see your face. The visual cues will help them understand any words they might have missed.
Minimize background noise
Turn off the TV during mealtime. Lower the volume on any music playing in the background or turn it off entirely.
Make sure the room is well-lit
This makes it easier for the hard-of-hearing person to read lips and see facial expressions and body language around the room.
Get the individual’s attention before speaking
Say the name of the person to whom you are speaking first or gently tap their arm. Once you have their attention, begin speaking and you are likelier to be heard and understood.
Speak slowly and clearly
Annunciate each word and don’t speak so quickly that your words all run together.
Don’t just repeat – rephrase
If the person you are speaking to says, “What?” or otherwise indicates they didn’t hear what you said, don’t just repeat the same thing more loudly, try saying it a different way. Typically, the issue the person has understanding you is not volume, but clarity.
Oticon Medical’s OpenSound Navigator can make hearing easier
Oticon Medical has developed OpenSound Navigator™ as a method of noise reduction and it can help you participate more fully in conversations around your holiday dinner table. In this situation, you want to hear the conversation, regardless of its direction. OpenSound Navigator seamlessly adjusts to your environment and reduces the effort it takes to hear.
Talk to your audiologist about creating a program in your Ponto™ 5 Mini or Ponto 5 SuperPower sound processor that utilizes OpenSound Navigator and enjoy the difference it makes this season. Additionally, you can hand a paired ConnectClip™ to a friend or relative across the table. Their voice can be streamed directly into your Ponto 5 device from up to 65 feet away!