Tips for the Holiday Season

Dec 10, 2019

Season’s Greetings!

We wish you and your families cherished moments this holiday season! Elkhart Audiology Rehab is here to help you make the most of these moments with any last minute fittings, repairs and adjustments.

We’ve put together the following tips for the holiday season that we hope will assist you in enjoying a wonderful Christmas time!

Tips for Traveling with Hearing Aids

Do you like to travel over the holiday season? Maybe you load up the car to visit family. Or maybe you like to fly off to warmth and sunshine over Christmas. Whatever the case may be, if traveling is a part of your holiday plans, there are some things to consider when it comes to your hearing aids.

The fact is, your hearing aids are one of the most important items to include on your pack list. Don’t get stranded somewhere unfamiliar and far from home because you didn’t prepare ahead of time. Here is what you can do to ensure your travel plans go smoothly, at least where your hearing aids are concerned! As always, give us a call if you have any questions before you travel. We’ll be happy to confirm you have what you need to successfully use your hearing instruments.

Plan ahead for power.

If you have rechargeable hearing aids, don’t forget to fully charge your hearing aids before you leave home! It is also wise to pack a “juice bar” which can also be charged ahead of time. You can connect it to your charger to give you a charge if you can’t readily find a place to plug in. When traveling internationally, it is helpful to have a converter on hand. Or check to see if the plug comes off of your charger cord and there is a USB plug underneath. In this case, you can plug into any cellphone style charging port. In either case, you’ll be able to rest in the fact that you can charge your hearing aids anywhere your travels take you.

For those with hearing aids that use disposable batteries, make sure you have spare batteries with you. We recommend keeping a couple sets of spare batteries both with you and in different places in your luggage so they are always easily accessible.

Flying specifics.

Inform airport security that you are wearing hearing aids. Some will use the hand wand while others may still have you walk through the metal detector. Be aware that sometimes the metal detector can cause a loud, distorting sound. Save yourself the headache and turn the volume of your hearing aids down before going through.

Do your hearing aids use Bluetooth? Turn them to flight mode. This means that the Bluetooth is turned off while your hearing aids remain on. Follow this link to find out how to switch your hearing aids to flight mode.

Communicate.

It’s important to let a flight attendant know that you are hard of hearing. It would be ideal to share with those nearest you as well. In the case of an emergency, they will be able to make accommodations for you. Outside of an emergency, communicating your hearing loss early on could help avoid possible awkward conversations during the flight.

Avoid the emergency exit row.

This is actually a safety regulation for those who are hard of hearing. Make sure that when you book a ticket, you are not in the emergency exit row for your own sake and for the sake of everyone on board. We never expect an emergency, but we should always be prepared for one!

Tips for Enjoying Holiday Parties

When you struggle to hear in a regular, quiet setting, holiday parties can be overwhelming. This is especially the case when you are surrounded by people who don’t know you well and might not be aware of your hearing loss. Before you decline all of the invitations, consider these tips for enjoying holiday parties:

  1. Talk to your host in advance. Let your gracious host know about your hearing issues and give her some very specific things she can do to make it a little easier for you to hear. Do you need to be seated somewhere near the middle of the table? As far away from the kitchen as possible? Not near the kids? Maybe next to a friend who could be helpful with filling you in on things you miss.
  2. Practice good listening skills. When hearing doesn’t come easily, listening becomes that much more important. You don’t want to pretend you can hear because you are risking a very embarrassing situation. But you don’t want to go to the other end of the spectrum and spend the whole party saying, “huh?” Fill in as many holes as you can, then ask for specifics to fill in the rest. For example, you could ask, “Who was it that made the Christmas cookies? I missed the name.”
  3. Keep the background noise to a minimum. It’s common for a Christmas party to include Christmas music playing nonstop. If this is preventing you from having a conversation, don’t be afraid to request that the music be turned down or even off. Also, if you’re seated somewhere noisy such as near the kitchen or the restroom or an especially rambunctious crowd, move elsewhere.
  4. Focus on one-on-one conversations. Settle into conversations with the people nearest you and focus on one person at a time. It is much easier to listen well when there’s only one person talking to you at a time. If you’re still struggling to hear, invite that someone to join you in a quieter part of the room.
  5. Use technology. There are quite a few options to choose from to help you enjoy your holiday party. There are FM systems, personal amplifiers, phone apps, Bluetooth, and more. Contact us to learn more about some of these options, including Hearing Loops. And, of course, wear your hearing aids!
  6. Take a break. It simply takes more effort to engage with hearing loss. Take a breather. Give your ears and your brain a break. Find a quiet room or step outside for a time. And, if necessary, head home early. Listening is hard work and can cause listening fatigue. Be kind to yourself this holiday season!

Christmas Gift Ideas

Here are a handful of gift ideas for your hearing impaired loved ones:

Wrapping Up The Year

Here’s what you need to know as we wrap up another year here at Elkhart Audiology:

Your trusting us with your hearing needs and your loyalty as you continually recommend us to others are gifts to us all year long! Visit our front desk this month to receive a token of our appreciation. We will also have special holiday treats for your enjoyment.

We are in the final days of our food drive. If you have anything you’d like to donate, please have it all dropped off by Friday, December 13th at noon.

Please be aware of our holiday hours and plan ahead for your needs:

December 24 – Open til Noon

Christmas Day – Closed

December 31 – Open til Noon

New Year’s Day – Closed