Being Hard of Hearing at Parties and Large Gatherings: Tips and Info for People Hard of Hearing

Photo by Peter Hellberg (Flickr)

Some of the most challenging environments for those with hearing loss are parties or other large gatherings. The excessive noise, mingling people, poor lighting, and other environmental factors combine to muddle even the clearest sounds. However, there is hope. There are some simple things that you can do to help overcome any difficulties in such an environment, and we are here to show you what they are. Many are quite simple but nonetheless can be very effective in helping you to be more comfortable and able to communicate with your friends and loved ones in a noisy gathering.

Take a Notebook

As simple as this may seem, being able to write questions or even have someone else write down what is being said can go a long way toward making your time more enjoyable. If you are catching most of the conversation but are missing important bits, you could even have a friend write the details down for you so you can follow along.

Choose Your Seat with Care

If you have the option, choose to sit away from the majority of the noise. Sitting in another room that is not so crowded or even choosing to sit outside can often help create an environment where you may be able to better hear what is being said. Rooms with carpet can also help to quiet things down to a level where you can hear specific sounds, such as someone speaking, much better.

Consider Using Two Hearing Aids Instead of One

Although some people can understand better what is being said with one hearing aid, most people will benefit from wearing two in a noisy environment. The reasons are many, such as being able to hear where sounds are coming from, having the ability to hear out of both ears so it doesn’t matter what side of you people stand on, more overall volume to help with speech-reading, and so on. If things start to get too loud, you can always take one out or turn down the volume on both.

Explain Your Situation to Your Host

Take the time to explain to those hosting the party or gathering about your hearing issue. Educating them about simple things like having only one person speaking at a time (if it is a small group) or asking them to keep background noise, like music, turned down low can really help you to be able to hear what is being said. Chances are good that you may have to explain your needs more than once, but once you have educated those around you, future gatherings should go much more smoothly. You may not even have to remind them.

There is a lot of good information out there to help those with hearing impairments enjoy social gatherings, and the above only scratches the surface. Organizations such as the Better Hearing Institute and the Hearing Loss Association of America have further resources dedicated to understanding and living with hearing loss that can be useful both to deaf people and to those who care about them. Give them a look!

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