When discussing the upcoming holiday this weekend, a patient last week expressed her dismay of the anxiety it causes. “I never do anything for New Year’s Eve,” she said, “it’s too stressful on any given day for me to try to communicate – New Year’s Eve just makes that all worse.”
Oh no! Everyone should be able to enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebration that you want to have. But large social groups are one of the most difficult environments for a person with a hearing loss (and even for those who don’t have hearing loss). If you find yourself in a large group at a loud venue celebrating the New Year, here are some strategies to better communicate:
1. Position yourself closer to the person with whom you are conversing. The further away you are, the greater the interference of ambient noise.
2. If you are at a loud venue or restaurant – position yourself close to a wall to buffer the background noise.
3. Watch how close you are to all the loud noise! Where you stand or sit at the party will impact your hearing. The closer you are to the band, the more difficult it will be to hear.
4. Be aware of the impact of alcohol. Along with other effects it has on the body, alcohol decreases speech discrimination capacities.
5. Consider wearing musician’s earplugs. In addition to actually protecting your hearing from the loud noise, it will also help you better communicate with those who are standing closest to you as you will hear the conversation better.
6. If you wear hearing aids and you are spending the evening in a fairly loud environment, make certain that you are using the appropriate program on your hearing device to effectively use your noise suppression circuit.
7. Put a fresh battery in your hearing aid before the night begins
8. Hearing aids not functioning well enough in noise? Ask about a remote microphone to connect to your hearing aids, which will route the speech you hear into your hearing aid directly.
9. Do you use Made for iPhone hearing aids? If so, reduce the bass and increase the treble slightly to compensate for the noise environment.
10. Relax as much as possible! Enjoy the moment – the party – the conversation. The more stressed and anxious you are, the more difficult communicating will be.
11. Make your hearing health your New Year’s Resolution! Get your hearing tested, explore ways to hear and understand better and protect your hearing when you are exposed to loud noises!
Happy New Year 2017 from
New York Speech & Hearing
Dr. Melissa E. Heche
Written by New York Speech and Hearing
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