How to Handle Thanksgiving When You Have a Hearing Loss

How to Handle Thanksgiving When You Have a Hearing Loss

The holidays are marked by joy and the happiness of seeing your loved ones in one place. This includes cooking, eating, sharing stories, and being grateful for the gift of each other. However, the festivities can sometimes have unique challenges for people with hearing loss.

We know how hard it is to navigate these situations, so have looked into practical strategies to ensure you have a delightful Thanksgiving celebration while wearing hearing aids. Follow these tips, and you won’t miss anything during family conversations.

Understanding the Challenges

Thanksgiving often involves lively conversations, laughter, and the chime of utensils, which can pose difficulties for individuals with hearing loss. The abundance of background noise can make it difficult to follow conversations, leading to feelings of isolation. However, with the right approach, Thanksgiving can still be an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.

  1. Communication Strategies

Communication is the heart of any holiday celebration. It is a time for family and friends to come together and share about the latest happenings in their lives and keep loved ones updated. For this reason, individuals with hearing aids and people around you should adopt effective communication strategies.

Encourage your family members to speak clearly and face you when talking. For better understanding, you can also consider using visual cues, like hand gestures or facial expressions.

  1. Choose the Right Seating

Choosing a good seating arrangement can drastically improve your Thanksgiving experience. Select a spot at the center of the table, as this would give you a clear view of everyone.

You’ll be able to face them when they speak fully, which will help you follow the conversation better. This positioning also minimizes the impact of background noise and facilitates better communication.

  1. Fully Utilize Your Hearing Aid Features

Modern hearing aids have advanced features to enhance hearing in various environments. Explore the settings on your device to optimize them for noisy settings. Some hearing aids have directional microphones that can help focus on specific sounds, making it easier to follow conversations around the table.

  1. Plan Breaks

Give yourself breaks during the festivities to prevent auditory fatigue. Step into a quieter room for a few minutes to recharge and ensure you’re fully ready to engage in the celebration. Don’t be scared to excuse yourself when you feel overwhelmed.

Pay attention to your body and understand when you are experiencing auditory fatigue or getting sensitive to the sounds around you. Take a few minutes to breathe in fresh air. Once you feel relaxed again, step into the dining room and continue the conversations as much as you want.  

  1. Share Your Needs

Open communication with family and friends is crucial. Inform them about your hearing loss and let them know how they can support you during Thanksgiving. This can include speaking louder, facing you when talking, or minimizing background noise.

Don’t be scared to communicate your needs for fear of being overbearing or misunderstood. Stand your ground and share your hearing needs with your family and loved ones, as they are sometimes in the best place to offer it. 

  1. Incorporate Assistive Technology

Consider using assistive listening devices or smartphone apps designed to work with your hearing aids. These tools can enhance your ability to hear and participate in conversations, making the holiday more enjoyable.

  1. Inclusivity and Education

Regarding Thanksgiving, creating an inclusive environment for everyone, especially those with hearing loss, is important. Educating your loved ones and making simple adjustments ensures that everyone, including yourself, feels involved and understood during the festivities.

You can start by explaining to your family and friends how hearing loss affects your day-to-day life. Help them understand your challenges and the importance of accommodating your needs.


Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and connection. By using these strategies and leveraging the capabilities of your hearing aids, you can enjoy the holiday with ease. Embrace the support of your loved ones and celebrate the joy of togetherness, creating lasting memories that transcend any hearing challenges.

Your hearing loss doesn’t have to define your Thanksgiving experience. Taking proactive steps and a positive mindset can make this holiday truly special.


Request a Callback

With so many myths and misinformation about hearing loss and hearing care, it’s often the unknowns or confusion that holds us back from making the right decisions.

That’s why we have a hearing care expert available to help.

If you have a question, or would like to speak to a professional privately about the challenges that you may be facing, then simply request a callback and we’ll call you for a friendly no-obligation conversation.