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I’m dreaming of a hearing-friendly Christmas

The recipe for a good Christmas party really couldn’t be simpler, could it? Take a bunch of friends and family, add a swig of your favourite tipple, then mix it all together with a generous helping of festive music (the cheesier the better, if you ask me).

Wonderful as it is, this combination of people, alcohol and music is highly likely to result in something called the Lombard effect – where people talk louder and louder to be heard over the general hum. Which, of course, means everyone has to talk louder still. It’s a vicious cycle of volume. So perhaps it’s time to tweak the old party recipe just a little. Especially if some of your friends and family don’t hear as well as they once did.

For all you considerate Christmas hosts out there, here are four easy ways to have a great party that everyone can enjoy:

 

Have yourself a merry little seating plan

If it’s a sit-down event or simply a Christmas meal, you can use a seating plan to help anyone who may struggle to hear the conversation. Seat them as far away from any music as possible, ideally with a wall behind them. This will reduce the direction of sounds from 360º to 180º.

For larger events, keeping the size of tables relatively small will also make a big difference. People naturally lip read in loud environments and this technique is much easier up close rather than across a large table covered with wine bottles and water jugs.

 

Jingle decibels all the way

It wouldn’t be a Christmas party without a bit of Bing or Mariah. But remember, the volume of your music will affect how loudly people talk to be heard over the stereo.

So before anybody arrives, do this simple sound check: stand as far away from the speakers as possible and make sure you can still hold a conversation without raising your voice. When the party is up and swinging, this will allow people to ‘vote with their feet’ and find a level of background noise they are happy with. Of course, if your party is happening across multiple rooms, you could also consider having one room where the music is turned up higher and one where it’s down or off altogether.

 

Last Christmas I didn’t wear a hearing aid

If you’ve recently started wearing a hearing aid, it usually takes a while for your brain to adapt to the change in signals it receives from your ears. With only a few windows left to open on the advent calendar, you may want to speed up this process in time for any big events. This is where brain-training exercises can come in useful. Ask your audiologist to recommend some appropriate exercises for your hearing condition.

 

Whatever you’re planning for Christmas, remember that hearing is the greatest gift of all – so why not treat yourself or a loved one to acomplimentary hearing consultation with one of our expert audiologists. After all, the joys of clearer hearing and a richer life really aren’t just for Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone, from all of us at Sevenoaks Hearing.
To claim your complimentary consultation please use this voucher code when making an appointment. XMAS2018

Book an appointment now

 

About Sevenoaks Hearing

At Sevenoaks Hearing, we provide a bespoke hearing service, using state-of-the-art technology to provide an accurate diagnosis and an effective solution. As we are independent of any manufacturer, we can also provide the best solution for your lifestyle. Find out about our hearing assessments and other treatment services.

Written by Matt Canon, Lead Audiologist at Sevenoaks Hearing. Visit our independent hearing centres in Sevenoaks, Banstead and East Grinstead or book an appointment now.

 

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