During the holiday season we gather with family and friends, maybe feast around the table or have a night out at restaurant or party. Regardless of what you do, it is a time of coming together to celebrate and communicate. You may be surprised to find out that during the holiday season it is common for family members to realize that someone they love has hearing loss.

Because this time of year is filled with more opportunities to be with our family, we wanted to share situations to avoid when you want to speak with someone about their hearing loss.

  • Don’t discuss it at the holiday gathering. We recognize that hearing loss is frustrating for all parties and that can often lead to us doing or saying something negative at an inopportune time. Talking about hearing loss at the holiday gathering is not the best place to discuss the problem. Often times the person with hearing loss is aware of the problem and has not taken action due to being embarrassed or scared. Our best advice is to pick a quiet time after the holiday season to start the discussion.
  • Don’t gang up on the individual. You may have the best intentions, but discussing hearing loss with mom or dad or grandma or grandpa in a room packed with many other family members is not the best choice. Again we recommend setting aside a time outside of the holiday season to meet. Choose one or two family members to start this initial conversation.
  • Don’t be negative. Frustration is typically high and a heated discussion can easily start. Try to stay positive. It may be helpful to have some examples from the holiday season where better hearing could have made the situation more enjoyable for your loved one. Also, remember it may take more than one conversation to convince him or her that they should seek help.

Finally, it may be helpful to contact a hearing care professional in advance of your conversation so you can be more informed about hearing tests and the treatment process.