Dining out with friends and family should be a pleasant experience but going out with hearing loss can be frustrating if you don’t take measures to improve your comprehension abilities.
Manatee Ear Center in Bradenton, Florida offers the following tips to help you get the most out of your time at restaurants and parties with loved ones:
- Keep it small: The fewer people there are in your party, the easier it will be to communicate with them. Larger groups not only put you farther away from people you want to talk to, but it’s more difficult to keep up with the conversation. Smaller parties enable you to maintain eye contact and follow what the speaker is saying.
- Select your restaurant carefully: Look for establishments that utilize some of these noise-reducing features: carpeting, booths, curtains, and tablecloths. Some new restaurants with an industrial vibe include acoustic panels on the ceilings and walls. All of this helps soak up background noise, making it easier to concentrate on the voices you want to hear.
- Position yourself for success: Call ahead to make a reservation if possible, asking for a seat in the quietest part of the restaurant. This likely means one away from the kitchen, front door and busing areas.
- Try out different chairs: Some people with hearing loss prefer to sit with their back to the wall to avoid fighting background noise from all sides. If you have a directional microphone, you may want to have your back to the rest of the room. Try both seats and see which works best for you.
- Use technology to your advantage: Many newer hearing aids can connect wirelessly to your smartphone, allowing you to use it as a microphone to enhance your ability to hear the person across the table.