Hearing Safety and Halloween
The last few months of the year are full of holidays and activities, and Halloween is a favorite among people who enjoy costumes, candy, and parties. Having hearing loss shouldn’t hold you back from enjoying the festivities, though. There are ways to ensure your Halloween goes smoothly, and Signia Hearing is here to offer some advice. Once you’re all set, you can begin enjoying your holiday!
Beware of loud noises
While the kids might be trick or treating, the older people use this holiday to have fun too. Costume parties, concerts, and get-togethers are all good ways to make the most of your Halloween, and hearing loss shouldn’t hold you back. However, there are some ways to make sure you’re not bothered by the loud noises during these parties and concerts.
• Establish a quiet place. Whether it’s a house party or a full-blown concert, don’t be afraid to leave the scene for a minute and take a break. You can go out on the balcony, sit in the restroom, or step outside for some fresh air and quiet.
• Turn down your hearing aid volume. Just because you can hear loud noises doesn’t mean you should. Don’t be afraid to turn down your hearing aids and enjoy the party on low-volume. A lot of the enjoyment is in dancing!
• Limit your time in loud places. This goes for hearing people too. Noise exposure is the leading cause of hearing loss, and you can worsen existing hearing loss by spending time in loud places. Depending on the volume, you shouldn’t spend more than an hour or two in places with loud voices or thumping music.
• Consider turning them off during fireworks. You don’t need your hearing aids to enjoy the light show. If you want to hear the boom of the fireworks, at least turn your volume down as much as possible.
Consider your costume
Halloween is the time for dress-up, though not all costumes are a great fit. If your costume involves wigs, hats, ornate earrings, and other headpieces, it might interfere with your hearing aids. If these costumes get caught on your hearing aids, it could rip them out or cause them to get lost. You should also avoid helmets and costumes that go over your ears or face. These costumes can muffle your hearing further and make it difficult to hear the world around you.
You should also consider putting reflective tape somewhere on your costume, especially if you plan on walking. While this is recommended for everyone, it’s doubly important for people with hearing loss. You might not be able to hear cars or motorcycles heading your way, and they might not be able to see you in the dark.
Make communication easy when dealing with hearing loss on Halloween
The point of Halloween is to have fun with friends and enjoy yourself, but that can be difficult when you’re struggling to understand conversations. Parties and group dinners can be difficult when you have hearing loss, and certain costumes can make that more difficult. You want to create an environment that makes communication as easy as possible. Here are some tips on how to do that.
• Circular seating. When you’re all sitting side-to-side, it can be difficult to hear the person in front of you, and the noise can blend together on all sides. Sitting in a circle directs voices to the center of the table, and you’re facing nearly everyone. It makes it much easier to understand each person.
• Take turns speaking. While this can be difficult at large parties, asking your friends to take turns speaking can make it easier for you to follow a conversation.
• Keep a friend close. You should try and attend Halloween events with a close friend who doesn’t mind pausing occasionally to make sure you understand what’s being said.
• Ask friends to avoid masks. Even if you don’t actively lipread, your brain subconsciously follows people’s mouths to supplement your hearing. Masks and helmets can hinder this ability, and muffle voices to the point of gibberish.
• Turn down the music. If you’re at a house party or restaurant, ask the host to turn down the music just a bit. This will make it easier to understand speech and avoid the cocktail party effect.
Keep your hearing aids clean
Halloween means glitter and glam, but some of these things can dirty your hearing aids. It’s important that you keep your hearing aids clean, and this might mean avoiding hairspray, glitter, and confetti. These things can easily get caught in the openings of your hearing aid, and it can be difficult to clean them out. Hairspray, in particular, is a hazard to your hearing aids. It can gunk up inside the cracks and block up important openings. If you must wear hairspray, make sure to take your hearing aids off before applying it.
If your hearing aids do get a bit dirty, don’t fret right away. Clean them out after you get home, and consider taking them to your hearing care provider for a professional clean.
Make sure you’re fully charged
Your hearing aids are important for your day-to-day life, but they’re vital for going out and making the most of your holiday. You want to make sure you don’t run out of power halfway through, so here are a few precautions you should take.
• Change the batteries before leaving. If you think you might be low on battery, don’t be afraid to pop in a new set before you depart. This might save you an emergency trip to the pharmacy halfway through the night.
• Take a spare set. You can also slip a pair of batteries into your purse, pocket, or glove box just in case. Even if you don’t use them, you can set them aside for next time.
• Double-check your charge. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, you might be more concerned about running out of juice. Put your hearing aids on the charger before leaving and double-check to make sure they’re ready to go.
• Take a portable charging case. Many rechargeable hearing aids come with cases, and some of these are equipped with portable lithium-ion batteries. Make sure this power bank is charged and take it along with you when you leave the house.
Take a friend
As mentioned above, a good friend can be your best ally and resource tonight. Your friend can make sure you’re safe, fill you in when you miss things and keep you company if you need some quiet time. If you don’t want to stay close to one person all night, you can try gathering a few friends that you can choose from whenever you need something. Chances are, people will be happy to help you and make sure you enjoy yourself.
If your friend(s) aren’t willing to accommodate your needs, you might be better off finding something better to do. Halloween is supposed to be fun, so don’t spend it feeling miserable!
Protect your kids
Even if you’re not the one with hearing loss, you might feel responsible for someone who is hard of hearing. While Halloween isn’t just for kids, many children partake in festivities like trick or treating, church events, and games with friends. If you’re the caretaker of a child with hearing loss, you want to make sure they’re as safe and happy as possible. You can ensure their safety and enjoyment by following the tips above, and here’s a few more child-focused tips.
• Keep an eye on them. Depending on your child’s age, this can be an easy feat or a difficult one. Younger children are often excited to spend time with their parents, while older kids might want to hang out with their peers or attend parties instead of trick or treating.
• Make sure they’re with friends. If you are letting your child enjoy the festivities alone, make sure they’re with friends and possibly a chaperone.
• Make sure they’re wearing reflective clothing/costumes. Cars are always a concern, especially for people with hearing loss. Most Halloween festivities take place at night, so make sure they’re wearing some reflective gadgets.
• Ask them to check in often. Even if they don’t like talking on the phone, you can ask them to send you periodic texts to make sure they’re okay. You can also establish a code-word to let you know if something is wrong and they need help.
If this article was helpful to you, we have more to offer. Signia Hearing provides blogs and guides to every hearing topic out there, from how to travel with hearing aids to what hearing aid is right for you. We have an entire backlog of content covering things like ear health, hearing loss, and hearing aids, and we put out new content every week. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on what we’re discussing!