Hearing Loss and Family Gatherings

The holidays are filled with joy and spending time with loved ones. But they can also be stressful for those who are hearing impaired. Read the tips below to make the most out of your holidays!

  • Be your own self advocate. If you do not hear what someone said, don’t be afraid or too shy to ask for repetitions.
  • Give gentle reminders to have your communication partners slow down their rate of speech and speak clearly.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask the host to turn the background music/TV down a few notches. Chances are you aren’t the only one who struggles in background noise!
  • If the room you are in is too loud, don’t hesitate to move your conversation to a quieter room.
  • Sit next to a friend/relative who won’t mind repeating things or filling you in on parts of the conversation you missed.
  • Pick your seat wisely. Find a seat away from the noise (kitchen, speaker, etc). This will help reduce unnecessary background noise. Also sit in a well lit area, this will help you have access to important visual cues like lip reading and facial expressions.
  • If you have hearing aids, make sure to wear them! Don’t hesitate to adjust the volume or change program settings.
Communication is a two-way street.

In order to communicate effectively, all parties need to be on the same page. These are the two most important tips for communicating with someone who is hearing impaired.

  • If you are asked to repeat yourself, try rephrasing what you said. Often times, your communication partner, who is hearing impaired, cannot hear certain sounds well and simply repeating the same words will not cut it. For example, if someone asks you to repeat “I love your blue dress” you may want to say “That’s a beautiful blue dress” when you repeat. Or “How would you like your steak cooked?” might be “Medium rare or rare for your steak?” upon repetition.
  • Make sure to not turn your back or cover your mouth when speaking with someone who is hearing impaired. People who are hearing impaired rely on visual cues even more so than people who have normal hearing. You may also want to grab your communication partner’s attention before starting a conversation to make sure they are actively listening. For example, touching their arm or shoulder.



The Hearing Clinic at the National Dizzy and Balance Center provides complete hearing care needs.   Our Doctors of Audiology perform a free hearing aid evaluation where they

  • Assess your lifestyle.  Finding what hearing aids will fit you best.
  • Trial hearing aids that are programmed to your hearing needs
  • Further diagnostic testing to ensure proper programming of your hearing aids.
  • Answer any other questions you may have.

To schedule an appointment, call 952-345-3000 today!