Getting out with friends and families to a favorite or new restaurant can be an enjoyable way to mark an occasion or simply rejoice in the fact you won’t be cooking that night.
However, for those of us with hearing loss, the pleasure of a night out can be spoiled by a disappointing listening experience that makes it difficult to enjoy the company of our loved ones. Hearing Associates would like to offer some recommendations on making it easier to hear in noisy restaurants.
Good Acoustics Are Key
You don’t have to strain as much to hear in dining spaces that feature at least some of these noise-reducing measures: curtains, carpeting, booths and tablecloths. Many establishments with modern-industrial features such as brick walls and concrete floors install acoustic panels on ceilings and walls. These help dampen the sounds from other diners and the kitchen, helping you pick up the voices you want to hear. Seek out these types of establishments.
Utilize Smartphone Hearing Technology
Hearing aids with smartphone capabilities will make it easier to hear those sitting across the table. Devices such as BEYOND from Widex, Oticon’s Opn and Starkey apps can be used on your iPhone and Android phones to get audio streamed directly to your hearing aids.
Keep the Party Small
It’s easier to follow and hear conversation with a smaller party than a large one. This will help you maintain eye contact and not strain as much to hear others, who will be closer to you instead of at the end of a long table.
Ask For A Quiet Spot
Call ahead and make a reservation, asking for the quietest part of the restaurant, presumably away from the front door or the kitchen and busing areas. Try to sit with your back to the wall or in a corner so you’re not fighting background noise from every direction.
Tell Your Server About Your Hearing Loss
Asking them to enunciate clearly and keep eye contact when speaking will help you understand the day’s specials or what kinds of salad dressings are available. If you’re having a difficult time understanding, let them know so you don’t have to struggle all evening.
Limit The Drinks
Understand that alcohol can interfere with parts of the brain that process sound. Moderate consumption will help you stay focused on the conversation.