The holiday season can bring joy, festivities and an array of social gatherings, including holiday work parties. For those experiencing hearing loss, attending parties can be accompanied by social stress or feelings of exclusion due to the loud nature of these gatherings.
Embracing the Holiday Spirit
To prepare for holiday parties at work, the first step is to request accommodations. Your company could potentially host a holiday party in a quiet venue as opposed to a bustling location like Yak and Yeti Restaurant. For speeches and toasts, your company may also be able to provide closed captioning.
When accommodations alone may not suffice, there are practical steps to enhance your experience.
Think through using these tips to enjoy your next holiday work party:
- Utilize hearing aids: Wear your hearing aids and consider adjusting them to focus specifically on speech and minimizing background noise. Your hearing specialist can guide you in using these settings if you don’t know how. Alternatively, an assistive listening device worn as a loop around your neck can project sound directly to you.
- Face whoever is speaking: During conversations, position yourself facing the person you’re speaking with to better interpret lip movements and body language. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if needed.
- Use Speech-to-text apps: Leverage your phone to convert speech to text using apps like TextHear, which provides closed captioning for real-time conversations.
- Choose Quiet Spaces: Opt for quieter rooms away from bustling areas like the kitchen or where music is being played. Outdoor venues or rooms with fabric elements such as chairs, curtains or flooring offer softer acoustics, reducing background noise your hearing aids could pick up.
- Take breaks: Combat listening fatigue by taking frequent breaks. This will help you maintain energy levels for continued socializing.
If you’re gearing up for a holiday party and wish to ensure your hearing is at its best or if you have questions about hearing aids, Advantage ENT & Audiology is ready to assist. Schedule an appointment to make the most of the festive season with enhanced hearing clarity.