If you or someone you know has a hearing loss, you’ve probably come to the realization that restaurants are noisy and it can make for a difficult time to have a conversation. Even with the latest hearing technology and the best audiology services, dining out can still pose problems communicating. Here are Dr. Lang’s 5As of dining out:
- Advocate for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask the manager to turn the music down or to ask for table away from the kitchen. Hearing loss is an invisible condition, so others won’t know you need help unless you ask.
- Avoid busy times. The busier the restaurant, the louder the background noise, making communicating more difficult. Not to mention, it may also increase your wait for a table!
- Assess the lighting. Whether we realize it or not, everyone uses some degree of lip-reading when communicating in background noise. Request a table with ample lighting.
- Arrange the seating. Most hearing aids have directional microphones, reducing the background noise behind you and enhancing the speech in front of you. Therefore, try to seat yourself with your back facing the noise. Have the people that are hardest to understand sit across from you so you can take advantage of seeing their lips.
- Ask for a booth. Booths help isolate some of the background noise, making it a little easier to carry a conversation.
Read about more wonderful tips for dining out here.