The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is urging families across America to keep loved ones with hearing loss close this holiday season by encouraging them to get their hearing checked and to have any hearing loss properly treated.
"The holiday season is meant to be a time of thanks, celebration, and joy," says Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D. Executive Director of the Better Hearing Institute. "But for many people, it is a time of year when unaddressed hearing loss can cause them to feel particularly isolated and depressed."
Hearing loss is one of the most commonly unaddressed health conditions in America today, and affects more than 31.5 million Americans, 65% below retirement age. When left untreated, hearing loss can lead to isolation and depression - already prevalent during the holiday.
Signs of hearing loss include not being able to hear well in a crowded room or restaurant, having trouble hearing children and women, keeping the television or radio turned up to a high volume, needing to ask family and friends to repeat or experiencing ringing in the ears.
Try these tips to help them feel included in your upcoming holiday celebrations:
- Keep the volume on the music and television down. Background noise makes it difficult for people with hearing loss follow the conversation.
- Face the person when you are talking to them, and keep your hands away from your face.
- Speak clearly and not too fast. Remember not to talk loudly or shout.
- If you plan to host a holiday dinner or party, consider leaving the dishes and silverware in the china closet. Instead, use holiday-themed paper plates and plastic cutlery. This will cut down dramatically on the noise from cutlery clattering on plates.
What better gift can you give this holiday season? For an appointment, contact Audiology Unlimited-Upper Marlboro at 301-780-6770, Silver Spring at 301-754-0085 or College Park Hearing at 301-277-2100.