Copenhagen, Denmark, 21st December, 2021 – ‘Tis the season for parties and socialising with the family and friends. For people with untreated hearing loss, this can be daunting, and many are left feeling frustrated, isolated, and lonely even when surrounded by their loved ones. Participating in conversations when there are lots of people gathered together can be really challenging when you have a hearing loss, especially when many people are talking at once and there is background noise such as loud music, children laughing etc. to contend with, so, hearing aid manufacturer, Oticon, has put together some handy tips to help people with hearing loss enjoy all of the festivities this Christmas 2021.
Hearing loss is a social disability which for others is not immediately apparent. But if you have a hearing loss, you know that not being able to engage in conversations on an equal footing with others can arouse a feeling of loneliness and exclusion. Sadly, far too many live with untreated hearing loss – around 6 million in the UK , and many may not even realise that it is the cause of their frustrations.
In fact, a recent Oticon hearing loss survey revealed that over a third of Brits admit to experiencing problems with their hearing, and of those, less than 20% have visited a hearing professional for advice. The survey also revealed that a large number of Brits may simply not recognise that they have hearing loss, or choose to ignore it, as a third of respondents said that they believe that they know someone who is in denial of hearing loss.
5 Top Tips for enjoying the season with hearing loss:
• Turn it down – Background noise can be extremely challenging for conversation when hearing is not what it used to be. Avoid playing loud Christmas music or having the TV on in the background during dinner.
• Quiet seat – Try and sit far away from where the most noise occurs. Anyone that struggles to hear should avoid sitting near the kitchen or a door that is in constant use.
• Best seat at the table – When you have a hearing loss you can benefit greatly from lip reading the person you are talking to. Try and ensure that anyone with hearing loss has a good view of everyone at the dinner table.
• Good lighting, not mood lighting – If you have difficulty hearing, you need a good view. It can help you to lip read and orientate yourself. So nice bright lights can help.
• Communicate – Have an open chat with your hosts / guests and let them know how they can make it easier for you to join in the conversation or ask someone with hearing loss how you can help. Alleviate the taboo of the situation.
Thomas Behrens, Chief Audiologist, Oticon says: “Around 42% of Brits over the age of 50 have a form of hearing loss, and Christmas with happy children, Christmas music and loud conversations can be an overwhelming experience. Sound is a very big part of our social interaction and I’m sure most people can imagine how hard it must be to sit on the sidelines and try to keep up with a conversation where you can’t hear much of what’s being said. In our survey, a quarter of those that know someone in denial of hearing loss actually admit to avoiding having conversations with the person that is having trouble hearing because it is easier. We want to ensure that hearing loss does not become a burden, a challenge or even a reason to isolate this Christmas, let’s ensure that everyone feels included and has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
For more information on hearing loss visit www.oticon.global