Do you suffer from hearing loss? You can still enjoy the sights - and sounds - of the holiday season. You just have to be prepared.

Having a hearing problem can hamper your holiday fun. You may miss out on conversations at family dinners and office or friends parties. Restaurants can be noisy, which may even further lessen your enjoyment as you try to listen to the lively chats happening at your table. And don't forget the holiday music - whether it's traditional holiday songs or the latest pop song with a holiday twist, listening to holiday music can put you in the spirit of the season, something you don't want to miss out on.

A hearing aid can greatly enhance your ability to communicate and interact with others. Wearing a hearing aid can ensure you enjoy this holiday season. If you do not have a hearing aid, see your doctor or audiologist (someone who specializes in hearing and ear problems) to see if a hearing aid will help with your hearing problem. If you already have a hearing aid, make sure you take care of it.

Here are some tips you can follow to ensure you enjoy your hearing during the holidays:

  • Make sure you understand how to use your hearing aid. You should be comfortable placing it in your ear and taking it out, replacing the batteries, and cleaning it. If you aren't sure or have questions, consult your audiologist.
  • Change your hearing aid batteries. Your hearing aid won't work if it's out of steam. Make sure you change your batteries regularly. And for those needing last-minute gift ideas: batteries make a good stocking stuffer!
  • Purchase easy-to-replace batteries. Keep extra batteries around (but out of the reach of children and pets!), even when going out, so you're not stuck without if your battery dies.
  • Follow the instructions on cleaning your hearing aid.
  • Avoid using hairspray or other hair-care products while you are wearing your hearing aid.
  • Keep your hearing aid away from heat and moisture. Don't store it in a steamy bathroom. If you sweat, wipe the hearing aid with a dry tissue. Also consider placing the hearing aid in a dehumidifier or dry-aide kit at night.
  • Make sure you turn your hearing aid off when you're not using it.
  • Get regular checkups as recommended by your doctor. Make an appointment with your doctor or audiologist, who can monitor your hearing and detect any problems before they get worse.
  • Consider getting two hearing aids. Two hearing aids may be better for hearing in noisy situations and may allow you to enjoy a more comfortable sound. They may also help make it easier to tell which direction a sound is coming from.