With the craziness of 2020, many of us are probably looking forward to the holidays to distract us from everything.  And while Covid-19 may still put a damper on our holidays, we can still have small, intimate group settings with our families.  Having your hearing devices performing their best is vital during the holidays!  So what can you do to ensure you are hearing your best this holiday season?  Below are some of the basics that can keep you involved in Thanksgiving dinner conversations.

If you don’t wear hearing aids right now but have noticed hearing difficulties… Schedule a hearing evaluation with an audiologist before the holiday rush!  With the normalization of wearing masks today, a lot of us have started to notice problems with our hearing.  Masks muffle the voice and if you have any sort of hearing loss it can cause major communication problems.  Knowing that masks are required in group gatherings means it will be an issue during the holidays.  Many audiologists will offer you a loaner set of hearing aids to try during the holiday, and often times there is no charge to do so.  If you like the hearing devices but you are worried about cost, some audiologists are beginning to implement a leasing program for the devices.  There are many options now, so there is no reason to struggle with any level of hearing loss!  Hearing aids are a small sacrifice for the joys of life.

Make sure you’ve had a hearing evaluation with your audiologist in the last 1-2 years.  Hearing loss is tricky and it sneaks up on you quickly.  By getting regular hearing evaluations, you are able to keep track of the loss and adjust your hearing devices accordingly!  If it has been awhile, call your audiologist and schedule a hearing exam as soon as possible.

Go to your regular clean and check appointments with your audiologist.  These appointments give the audiologist time to clean your ears of any wax buildup, clean your hearing devices thoroughly, and allow you to bring up any concerns you are having with your hearing devices.  Most audiologists would like to see you every 5-6 months. However, some patients may require more frequent cleanings.  Ear wax builds up differently in all of us!

Have the proper tools, supplies, and resources to take care of your devices.  What if you wake up on Thanksgiving Day and your hearing aids are no longer working?  Unfortunately, most audiologists are closed on major holidays.  The only way to get around it is to know how to troubleshoot your device yourself!  Make sure you have enough batteries, domes, and wax guards on hand to be able to change it out.  Most of the time, when an aid stops working it is simply a dead battery or a buildup of wax in the wax guard.  It’s a simple matter to change these things out, and audiologists are happy to teach you how to do it.

Schedule a hearing aid adjustment if you notice any change in your hearing.  If you have had a test in the last year but you feel like you are just not hearing well, your devices may need a slight adjustment.  Your audiologist can easily tweak your settings and get you hearing well just in time for your family to come together.

Recognize the signs or symptoms that constitute a hearing emergency.  A sudden drop in your hearing, pain in the ear, and objects stuck in your ear are all considered emergencies.  If an audiologist is unable to get you in immediately, you may want to contact and ENT specialist or go to the E.R.

After the long hard year we have had, we all deserve a relaxing holiday.  Being unable to hear well will cause a lot of anxiety not only for you, but for your family as well.  Your hearing health is important, so make sure you are not neglecting it!  Call your audiologist and schedule an appointment to make sure you have everything you need.  Let’s get you hearing for holidays!