How to Prepare for Social Distanced Holidays
The fall and winter holidays are coming up soon. While they may look different this year, you can still safely enjoy the company of family and friends through video chats.
This year has already drawn attention to the challenges that hearing aid users experience. Getting help and working with your hearing instrument specialist is a great way to prepare yourself for virtual or socially distanced holidays.
Using Technology to Communicate
Video chats have a tendency to create complications in the way sounds are heard. Computer speakers are likely to distort sounds and a person’s voice. This will affect a person who has difficulty hearing and can make it harder to follow along during conversations.
If you are speaking to someone who has difficulty with hearing, ask the person if there is an easier way to communicate with them. This may include speaking slower and enunciating clearer, using a speech to text app, making the room brighter so that they can see your face when you speak, mentioning the topic of a conversation before speaking, etc.
Let the person who cannot hear clearly know what the topic of the conversation is, this will help them fill in the blanks for words that they may miss. Some people who are hard of hearing have described listening to others speak as being similar to a game of “Wheel of Fortune”. They may not be able to hear certain letters in words and will need to piece the conversation together based on the topic that is being discussed, people’s facial expressions, hand gestures, and/or lip-reading.
When video chatting, it’s important that the person who has trouble with hearing is in a space that is quiet with little to no background noise. It would also be best if hearing aid users sit near the WiFi router so that they can get a clear and uninterrupted connection.
A poor internet connection can slow and distort a person’s speech. This creates challenges when it comes to lip reading. Raising the volume on the hearing aids or the speaker in order to improve hearing may actually make the person who is speaking sounds even worse.
The majority of modern hearing aids feature Bluetooth®. This allows your hearing aids to connect on a call via smartphone, computer, tablet, and any other Bluetooth®-enabled devices. Check your devices to make sure they are updated with the latest software, and test out some calls a few days prior to your video chat to ensure proper function.
If you notice that you are not hearing as well as usual with your hearing aids, clean them, make sure there are fresh batteries, or they are fully charged. If you’re still having trouble with hearing clearly, schedule an appointment with your hearing aid provider. It may need a deep clean or reprogramming. Adjustments may need to be made in order to understand others when they are wearing a mask.
Let Pure Sound Hearing help you get ready for the holidays this year. Contact us to schedule an appointment.