Ask The Audiologist

Q: How can I make family gatherings more enjoyable for family members who have hearing difficulty?

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A: The family is gathered for Thanksgiving dinner. Young and old are laughing, sharing fond memories and catching up on the latest. It is a warm, joyful scene – unless you notice Uncle Bob. He’s smiling weakly, nodding occasionally, but not participating in the conversation because of his hearing difficulty.

Scenes like this play out in many families during the holiday season. Hearing difficulty can lead to isolation and depression – the opposite of what family gatherings and celebrations at this time of year are meant to encourage. Whether you have a family member with hearing difficulty, or you have hearing difficulty yourself, here are some ways to help make this holiday season more joyful.