22 Dec Hearing Over the Holidays: Parties
Christmas Parties can often be dreaded events for individuals struggling with their hearing. While you want to go and participate, you know that the boisterous excited voices will cause noise levels that will make it impossible for you to catch the punch line of the joke.
Typically, parties start a little on the quieter side. At this point, noise levels aren’t too bad, and people typically stick with a group of people who are familiar to them. Earlier on, individuals with hearing aids should function quite well. Now is the time to check out the room, and determine if there may be a quieter area to gather a small group in later for more intimate conversation if the noise levels climb.
To have in depth conversations, it is important to find a quieter area, away from the hubbub of the party. Avoid standing near the speakers, or the bar, as they often have very high levels of noise. Don’t be afraid to tell your partymates that you’re having trouble hearing them, and ask if they’ll move to a quieter area with you.
You may need to rely more heavily on lip reading, so it is important to be facing whom you are speaking with.
Finally, if you have hearing aids, switch into your directional program! If you don’t have one, talk to your audiologist. While the directional program won’t “eliminate” background noise, it will help cast an acoustic “spotlight” on the voices you are facing, and reduce the amplification for the voices from behind.
Once you’ve thought out your placement, your hearing aids, and your communication strategies, relax and have fun!