How To Survive A Cocktail Party When You Have Hearing Loss

Cocktail parties are a fact of life, but with hearing loss, they are also a challenge. In my latest post for Hearing Tracker, I share my tips for surviving a cocktail party when you have hearing loss. See an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here

Cocktail parties are tough for most people, but when you have hearing loss, they can be brutal! The constant buzz of conversation bounces around the hard surfaces of the room, making it difficult to pick out the important sounds — the voices of your conversation partners. When music is playing in the background, it is even harder. The whole experience can be frustrating, embarrassing, and incredibly exhausting. Many people with hearing loss would prefer to avoid cocktail parties like the plague. But cocktail parties are a fact of life and we must face them head on.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Surviving A Cocktail Party When You Have Hearing Loss

When approaching a cocktail party, people with hearing loss may opt for easy fixes — dominate the conversation or nod, smile and hope your responses are appropriate. While I admit utilizing these crutches in a pinch, the following list of strategies provides a more authentic and satisfying experience.

1. Arrive rested. Hearing at a cocktail party requires significant concentration and brain power. Arrive rested and having eaten something. An empty stomach makes it harder to concentrate.

2. Find a good position in the room. Upon arrival, scope out the best possible acoustics within the setting and set up shop. A corner location often works well because it limits the background noise behind you. Areas with carpet, drapes or cushions are also good choices since soft surfaces help absorb excess sound.

3. Advocate for yourself. Let people know about your hearing difficulties and ask your speaking partners to move to a quieter part of the room if possible. Or invite them to step outside for a breath of fresh air and respite from the cacophony. If possible, ask the host to turn down the music in at least one part of the party.

For more tips, please continue reading on Hearing Tracker.

15 thoughts on “How To Survive A Cocktail Party When You Have Hearing Loss

  1. I don’t like to ask my hosts to turn down the music as they have planned for that ambiance and it seems rude to ask them to change it for me. Background music is my pet peeve, I don’t see why it has to be everywhere.

    It plays behind the dialogue in movies and on TV, seemingly with no relevance to what is on the screen although I can’t be sure of that because I Can’t Hear the Dialogue because of the music!

  2. I’ve never been to a cocktail party but meetings for work and coffee hours at church. The coffee hour are excruciating. Everyone jabbering!

  3. I don’t like going to parties on my own as I have to rely on lipreading more than ever. my hearing loss is quite severe so even with my hearing aids and using the tactics in your post I still find it impossible to hear, let alone understand what is being said.

    I do prefer to have my husband with me. We both sign, so he being hearing, can interpret when I need it.

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