SUMMER GATHERINGS: HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR HEARING AIDS

Summertime is synonymous with barbecues and sunny social events outdoors. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your hearing aids when you are flipping burgers – or just enjoying an alfresco refreshment with your friends.
First of all: wear your hearing aids
Some people shy away from wearing their hearing aids at social gatherings. Often this is done out of a sense that hearing aids are somehow embarrassing. Or that wearing them is a sign of weakness. In fact, hearing aids are a tool to achieve something good, just like glasses. 

Decades ago, when wearing glasses was a less common occurrence, kids would be bullied in school for wearing them. Not anymore. Today glasses are associated with intelligence. Even people with perfect vision wear glasses as a fashion statement. Soon the same may become true for hearing aids. So, don’t miss out on what’s going on out of shame. Don’t be that guy (or girl). Wear your hearing aids with pride.

Location is everything: find a good spot
At any social event where several people are talking at the same time, following the conversation can be challenging. Especially for new hearing aid users. Try positioning yourself in a spot that lets you see the person or people you are in conversation with. This will help you follow what is being said.

Miss something? Say something
It can often feel slightly embarrassing to ask someone to repeat what they just said or to speak a little louder. But don’t pretend to understand something you didn’t catch. Find the courage to say something if you can’t follow the conversation. You can also give visual cues to let people know if you are having trouble following the conversation. One way to do this is to cup your hand around your ear. This indicates to the speaker that you are having trouble hearing them. Often this will encourage the speaker to speak at a higher volume.

Try new technologies
Many modern hearing aids work with a variety of accessories that can help you hear better in challenging listening situations. Like hearing aids, these accessories cover a wide range of capabilities and technological sophistication. If you sometimes experience hearing difficulties in crowded social settings, consider talking to your hearing healthcare professional about trying a range of accessories for your hearing aids.