"There are ways to help a loved one with hearing problems enjoy the holiday season. It takes observation, awareness and a healthy dose of patience."
Saint Paul, MN (PRWEB) November 22, 2010
The sounds of the holidays – joyous music, lively conversation and family gatherings - are a cherished part of every holiday season. But if a loved one has trouble hearing in crowded, noisy situations, or suffers any degree of hearing loss, the holidays may lose some of their sparkle.
According to Hearing-Aid.com, hearing loss, especially during the holidays, contributes to feelings of anxiety, anger and depression. The person with a hearing problem feels left out and isolated; and if family members may wrongly attribute the person’s anger and frustration to issues such as aging or other health problems, when the reality is that their loved ones simply can’t hear what’s happening around them.
A person with hearing loss symptoms may have difficulty with the higher pitched tones of children’s (and women‘s) speech. Missing out on a grandchild’s recitation of a wish list, or not being able to contribute to a family conversation about holiday memories, can be frustrating for both the person suffering from hearing loss, as well as family members who may not be aware of the hearing problem.
There are ways to help a loved one with hearing problems enjoy the holiday season. It takes observation, awareness and a healthy dose of patience – communication skills that are useful year round - but may be even more important when families and friends gather to celebrate.
- Be sure the person is paying attention before you speak.
- Speak face to face, never from a different room or from behind.
- Dimly lit situations make it difficult to see facial expressions. Try to have conversations in areas with good lighting like a kitchen or near a window.
- While speaking. avoid activities like smoking or chewing that make lip reading difficult
- Speak at a natural pace and volume level.
- Try to reduce background noise. Even people who wear hearing aids may have difficulty hearing in noisy situations.
Hearing-Aid.com stresses that hearing loss affects people of all ages. In fact, 1 out of 10 Americans have some degree of hearing loss. Teens who give the appearance of being uncooperative or withdrawn may simply not be able to hear well enough to respond to requests for help in the kitchen or questions about school.
The holidays often provide the perfect opportunity for a heartfelt family discussion about health concerns. Recognizing the causes and types of hearing loss can help pinpoint the problem, and rule out other medical issues.
With the support of family, a person with hearing problems may be more able to accept the need to get hearing loss treatment, and may be ready to take the first steps to better hearing – a hearing test by a qualified hearing specialist, and, if necessary, hearing aid s. What a great gift to give a loved one (or yourself) this holiday season!
To learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids or how to help a loved one with hearing problems, visit Hearing-Aid.com.
Kendra Klemme, Communications Manager
National Council for Better Hearing
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