8 Tips for Surviving a Cocktail Party with Hearing Loss

Surviving A Cocktail Party With Hearing Loss

Whether it’s for work, school, or some other social function, attending a cocktail party is a common occurrence these days. This is especially true during the holiday season when parties are scheduled in close succession and easily fill up your social calendar.

What is an event to be anticipated for most, however, can be an event to be dreaded by individuals with hearing loss. Between background music and noisy crowds, the environment of a cocktail party is one that can be especially difficult to navigate if you’re unable to hear well.

How to survive a cocktail party with hearing loss

Having a hearing impairment is no reason to boycott parties altogether, however. Instead, try implementing these tips for controlling your environment and helping to mitigate any issues that might arise.

  1. Go to the party well-rested.

When you have hearing loss, your brain is already working overtime to process and make sense of the information it gets. Being tired just aggravates the condition. When you know you have a party coming up on the calendar, plan ahead and get plenty of sleep before you go.

  • Location, location, location.

Once you arrive at the party, where you choose to hang out is key to your ability to have a good time. Whenever possible, pick a spot along the perimeter of the room, where you’re out of the center of the noise and commotion. Ideally, a corner location provides the best acoustics for being able to hear and interact with someone next to you.

  • Choose your environment.

Many times, parties are held in several rooms, with the main event in one area, and other side rooms for eating, dancing, or other socializing. If available, choose to spend most of your time in an area with carpet or drapery. These will help to dampen background noise and provide an environment more conducive to conversation.

  • Tell others about your hearing loss.

Most people are more than willing to make accommodations for you if they simply know that you have difficulty hearing. Let your party’s host and your companions know that you have hearing loss. Armed with this knowledge, they’ll be better able to suggest a quiet place to talk, or maybe even turn down the music so you can hear better.

  • Use the appropriate hearing technology.

If you have hearing aids, this is not the time to leave them at home! This is especially true if you have smartphone hearing aids as they can be extremely useful in being able to discreetly manage your environment and eliminate background noise.

  • Practice body language and hand gestures.

If the noise of the party is such that you’re not able to communicate properly, use other forms of communication like gestures. The familiar hand cupped behind the ear is a great way to let someone know you can’t hear them without interrupting the conversation to tell them so.

  • Enjoy the party in small time increments.

Sometimes, you just need a break from all the commotion. Don’t feel bad if you need to excuse yourself and leave the room for a little bit to recharge your batteries (your internal ones, not your hearing aids!).

  • Have fun and laugh!

Parties are meant to be enjoyed, so live it up! And, don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself and the situation if you do hear things incorrectly … it could be humorous!

So there you have it … your cocktail party survival guide. Be sure to put it to use at your next party and you’ll find that living with hearing loss is not so difficult after all!

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