Tips for a Hearing Loss Friendly Thanksgiving

by Lindsay Robinson, HIA Program Coordinator

November 22, 2023


Around one in eight Americans over the age of 12 has hearing loss in both ears, and the prevalence of hearing loss rises as we age.1 Chances are, you know of someone who has trouble hearing. Maybe, you are the one experiencing hearing loss. Whether it's you or a loved one who might be struggling to hear this year, make sure you dress this Thanksgiving holiday for success by creating a comfortable listening environment. Here are some tips to achieve fun for all:


1. Utilize Technology

The best treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. They are equipped with incredible features to reduce background noise, suppress the symptoms of tinnitus (constant sound of buzzing, ringing, or hissing in ears), and can connect to accessories such as tabletop microphones, among many other innovations. 

If you or your loved one already wears hearing aids, make sure to bring extra batteries or a hearing aid charging case so no moments are missed due to dead batteries.


2. Seating for Success

If you are hosting gatherings at home, consider the acoustics of the space. Minimize background noise, such as loud music or appliances. Seating your party in a circle or rectangle and placing the individual with hearing loss in the middle will help ease difficulty hearing from one end of the table to another. If celebrating at a restaurant, choose venues with good lighting and less noise. The smartphone app SoundPrint can allow you to browse nearby venues and view their average sound levels.


3. Plan Quiet Moments

If you’re spending long hours with family or friends, understand that conversing with hearing loss can be challenging. Plan quiet moments throughout the day for you or your attendees to rest and recharge. This can also provide an opportunity for one-on-one or small group conversations, making it easier to connect.


4. Find Inclusive Activities

There are many group activities that don’t rely heavily on spoken communication and can be enjoyable for all levels of hearing. Board games, card games, baking from recipes, nature walks, and movies (with captioning or visual accessories) can provide respite for the ears and stimulation for the mind.


5. Be and Advocate and Educate Others

If you have hearing loss and you are willing to talk about it, or if you have permission from your attendee with hearing loss, discuss it! In a 2019 Hearing Industries Association (HIA) omnibus survey about hearing loss, the majority of participants viewed those who wear hearing aids to be taking proactive steps to improve themselves and their quality of life. Share information about hearing loss, common misconceptions, and effective communication strategies with those around you. The more people know, the more they can support and help create an enjoyable holiday experience.


Happy Thanksgiving from HIA!



  1. National Institute on Deafness and Communications Disorders. 2021. Quick Statistics About Hearing.


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