The holidays should be enjoyed by everyone, but it can be a challenging time for those with hearing loss. From gift shopping for family and friends to traveling and holiday parties, background noise can interfere with hearing aids and you don’t want to miss out on any of the celebrations. Here are some tips from an ear specialist on navigating the holidays with hearing loss!
Many people want to get out and partake in the holiday shopping atmosphere but resort to online shopping to avoid the holiday crowds. Online shopping is a good idea for those with hearing loss, but if you’re someone who prefers to shop in person, there are still ways you can navigate through the loud environment. You shouldn’t have to miss out on any of the savings because of your hearing impairment!
Consider shopping small; you can support your community and smaller businesses are often less crowded and noisy. Take a family member or friend with you to do your holiday shopping, that way you have someone along to assist you if you need. You can also shop at places you’re familiar with so you don’t need to ask any questions. Let the retail workers know you have hearing loss so they can better help you out. Lastly, pay with a credit card rather than cash, as you can more easily see the total and pay.
Airports and airplanes are notoriously loud. Flying during the holidays is stressful for anyone, but it is even more so for those experiencing hearing loss. If you’ve done it before, you know that checking in, going through TSA and boarding can be a daunting task. The best thing you can do is to prepare everything you can beforehand.
Technology has evolved to the point where you can download your ticket on your phone and receive flight information via text. This can make checking in and boarding a bit easier. Make sure you put your hearing aids and other important items where you can access them easily. When you arrive at the airport and board the plane, let the agents and flight attendants know you have hearing loss so they can give extra assistance if needed.
Plus: Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Neb., participates in the Hidden Disability Sunflower Program, in which you can get a sunflower button, bracelet or lanyard at the Information booth to signify a hidden disability like hearing loss.
When it comes to hosting a guest with hearing loss, you want to make sure they feel as welcome as everyone else. Things you can do are minimize the background noise, keep everything well-lit, prepare a seating chart accordingly and ask them what you can do to help. You can also set up a quiet space for them for when they need to take a listening break.
Visiting an ear specialist
If you or a loved one have hearing loss, visiting an ear specialist during the holiday season is always a good idea. We can do a hearing test to make sure your hearing hasn’t gotten worse, and we can adjust your hearing aids if needed. Contact us today and schedule an appointment!