While hearing aids are an excellent solution to hearing loss, they can sometimes make it difficult for a person to ignore the background noise in busy restaurants and other crowded places. To improve people’s hearing in such circumstances, the Better Hearing Institute developed several strategies that people with hearing loss can employ while out to eat. Better Hearing Institute suggests:
- Picking a quieter restaurant that is carpeted and is decorated with other sound-absorbent materials. Places like sports bars often create lots of extraneous noise that can make it difficult for people with a hearing aid to carry on conversations with their dining partners.
- Dining out on less busy days and avoiding the weekend rush.
- Previewing the restaurant’s menu online to reduce the number of questions for the server.
- Sitting with your back to the window so you can better see the people you are speaking with.
- Indicating choices upfront instead of waiting for the server to ask you which option you would prefer. For instance, order the salad with its dressing, or the sandwich with a particular side dish.
- Informing your dining companions and/or the server that you may have difficulty hearing in that particular environment and asking them to speak clearly. Everyone – even those without hearing aids – has trouble hearing in a loud environment, so don’t hesitate to ask someone to clarify or repeat a comment.
In addition to following these tips, it is important to talk to an audiologist who will evaluate your hearing and give you advice about your individual situation. Many excellent hearing specialists are available at a discount through your hearing care plan, so take advantage of it and contact a professional today.