Hearing loss is a fact of life.
Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss, much of it undiagnosed.
What’s more, only about a quarter of Americans with hearing loss use a hearing aid.
Undiagnosed hearing loss, a lack of hearing assistance, and loud holiday gatherings can create a perfect storm that can lead to mis-communication and unwanted holiday stress.
As someone who’s often found himself stranded at one end of a noisy table struggling to keep up with the conversation, I can attest to the frustration felt by missing out on holiday festivities.
What you do to make sure everyone can take part in your holiday gatherings?
Here are 5 ways you can make everyone’s holiday happier!
5 Ways to Keep Hearing Loss From Causing Holiday Stress
Turn off the radio or TV. Although this is self-explanatory, keep in mind that any background noise at all- no matter how quiet- could potentially impact conversations.
Don’t isolate the hearing impaired. Seat them at the middle of the table, no more than 5 feet away from anyone else, if possible.
Choose a quiet dining room. Too close to the kitchen? You may find that clattering plates and pans create unwanted noise. Likewise, if you’re dining out, ask for a quiet table.
Choose a well-insulated dining room. Too much echo can create background noise that will make it difficult for the hearing impaired to make out conversations.
Consider getting a portable personal amplifier. These are self-contained devices that can amplify sound into personal headsets for the hearing impaired. The most common model is the Williams Sound PockeTalker, like the one pictured above.
What exactly is a PockeTalker? Read on!
What is a PockeTalker, & Which One Is Right for You?
The Williams Sound PockeTalker is a portable assistive listening device that’s great in noisy environments.
The PockeTalker features a main unit that clips on to your belt and an attached microphone, which picks up and amplifies environmental sound into a headset. Since the amplifier is built into the unit, no extra equipment is necessary.
Williams Sound makes two models of the PockeTalker: The Williams Sound PockeTalker Pro, and the PockeTalker Ultra.
The Pro was the original PockeTalker model, and features a heavy-duty casing. It has a blue color, and takes AA batteries. The volume control is located on the top of the unit, making it easy to adjust the volume without removing the PockeTalker from your pocket.
If you prefer the security of a more durable unit, and the convenience of a top-mounted volume control, then the Pro is a good choice for you.
If you prefer a slimmer, more portable model with side-mounted controls, consider the PockeTalker Ultra. The Ultra is a newer model, weighs less, has a silver/gray color, and takes AAA Batteries.
The choices for headsets include earbuds, folding headphones, rear-wear headphones, an ear clip, and even a neckloop receiver that is designed to work in conjunction with a hearing aid. Which headset you choose depends on whether you prefer an earbud or earclip that attaches to your ear, or less discrete headphones that go over your head.
Need help choosing a PockeTalker or portable personal amplifier that’s right for you? Give our trained staff a call at 1-800-263-0112, or send us an email.