For hearing impaired individuals, trying to communicate in a noisy restaurant can be challenging, especially with numerous conversations going on, dishes and silverware clanging and music playing in the background. Sometimes even the most elegant restaurants tend to be on the noisy side, and since you’re in a seated position, you can’t really move closer to the person or persons you want to hear.
So What Can You Do to Improve Your Restaurant Experience?
Here are several helpful tips for dining out with hearing loss:
- If you have a choice between a table or a booth, we recommend you pick a booth. Call ahead and tell the hostess where you would like to sit; this will help you avoid a long wait once you get there.
- If you are dining out with a larger group, avoid sitting at the ends of the table. It can be very difficult to hear from one end to the other so try to sit in the middle.
- Avoid sitting directly under the air conditioner, fan or near a music speaker. In some cases you may be able to ask your waiter/waitress if they can to turn down the volume of the music. Simply explain that it is too loud for you to communicate with your dinner guests.
- If your hearing aids have directional microphones (meaning two microphones instead of one), position yourself so that the noise is behind you. Directional microphones are designed to reduce sounds from the side and the rear and focus on sounds in front of you.
- Try not to sit near the kitchen, bar or the hostess area. The ambient noise from these locations will most likely be distracting.
- When having conversations, keep eye contact with the person who is talking. When you are in a challenging listening situation, like a restaurant, paying attention to visual cues can help.
- The more prepared you are the better your dining experience will be. Take a look on the restaurant’s website and preview the menu. Also when you get there, ask the waiter if a written list of the specials is available.
- Lastly, enjoy the delicious food and the company of your friends and family, and try not to get frustrated.
We hope these tips will help improve your dining experience and allow you to enjoy your meal, but if you would like to speak to a hearing healthcare specialist to discover additional ways to make hearing in restaurants more comfortable, contact us at Kenwood Hearing today and schedule an appointment. We convenient hearing center locations in Toledo, Bowling Green, and Wauseon, Ohio.