Healthy Hearing for the Holidays

Holidays pose many listening challenges for people with hearing loss. Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

It’s that time of year again – holidays mean travel, family, parties, going out more….but for someone with a hearing loss, these can all be stressful situations. Let’s take a look at some tips for keeping the holidays merry.


If you are traveling by car and wear hearing aids, there are some features that can make a long ride easier. For example, some hearing aids have the ability to detect you are in a car situation and automatically decrease low-frequency engine and road noise to make it easier to understand speech.

In hearing aids with adaptable directional microphones if you are sitting in the front seat and the person in the back seat is speaking, the hearing aids will focus on the speech and you will be able to hear them better.

If traveling by plane, most airlines now have free apps where you can put your flight information in and it will keep you posted about gate changes and delays. It is still a good idea to check in with a flight attendant and let them know if you are hearing impaired and have difficulty understanding in-flight announcements; they should be able to communicate these to you directly.


Hotels are required to have rooms available with assistive technology, including signaling devices for the fire alarm and TTY telephones. It is wise to make reservations far enough in advance to request a room with these features. There are also many resources for travel assistive devices, such as alarm clocks or alerting devices that can be obtained through your audiologist or online sources.


Groups are a very challenging situation for someone with hearing loss. In some cases, it is best to have conversations with one or two people away from the bulk of the noise. Devices, such as remote or wireless microphones, can be used to better hear a single person in a crowd. Take some time to figure out the best place to sit for dinner parties; strategize with your audiologist about how to best use your placement and hearing aids to get the best possible signal.

Try to be well rested before attending a party, as difficult listening situations can be fatiguing.


Are you looking for some really cool tech gifts for someone with hearing loss? Consider the livescribe pen. While taking notes, the pen records audio of what is being said and can then play back parts of the meeting or lecture you may have missed.

 A remote microphone or wireless microphone are gifts that bring ease of listening to existing hearing aids. Your audiologist can help determine what items are appropriate and show you how to use them.

Captioned telephones are a wonderful way to stay in touch and are available from Captel or Clearcaptions.

Another idea is movie tickets to a theater that has caption glasses available. You can call Regal Cinemas to determine if there is a location near you with this option. It’s a great way to go out and enjoy a movie without the stress of needing to ask, “What did he say?. 

Continue Reading