Enjoying a Meal Outside Despite Having Hearing Damage
People with hearing loss often dread going outside to eat with friends and family, simply because of the daunting amount of background noises present at restaurants. Be it the constant chatter of fellow diners, the background music, or the clinking of silverware on the dishes, you may find it intimidating to go out if you have hearing loss.
Thankfully, your concerns have been addressed by the Better Hearing Institute. They have recently published quite a few helpful recommendations and steps that you can take to enjoy your meal at eating joints despite having hearing loss.
If you have a say in the matter, make sure you select a restaurant that is relatively quiet. Avoid places that you know have loud and noisy environments, such as sports bars or popular burger joints.
Try to find restaurants that have noise dampening materials as part of their décor, such as carpets and upholstered seats. This can help absorb miscellaneous ambient noises and make it easier to hear conversations.
Ask your host to find a table for you that is away from the kitchens and the speakers where the music is playing. You can do this by making prior reservations where you mention your unique hearing needs and seating requirements.
Plan ahead and look up the menu of the restaurant you are about to visit beforehand. Many restaurants have online websites where they list their menu, so make a selection of the dish you want beforehand. This way, you are not lost or confused in the presence of extraneous noises at the restaurant.
Always pick timings and days that are beyond the peak hours of the restaurant of your choice. This way you can avoid the unnecessary rush and the subsequent noises that come with a busy restaurant.
Always take a seat at the center of the table instead of the far corner. This way you will have a better chance of hearing conversations from both ends of the table with equal ease. Of course, it is important to keep the gatherings small, so join only a small group of friends or family during your visit to the restaurant.
If you use hearing aids, make sure to utilize your directional microphone. When you do so, always ensure that you sit in a manner so that any background noises occur behind your back while the conversations you wish to engage in occur right in front of you.
It may also be helpful to notify your hosts about your hearing problem and what your unique hearing requirements are so that they can accommodate as best as they can. Also notify your waiter or waitress about your hearing problem so that they can slow their pace and speak loudly and clearly when explaining the specials to you.
Try sitting in a well-lit area that can make lip reading easier. Always find a seat that is away from the window so that the street noises do not interfere. Last but not the least, remember to just relax and enjoy yourself. Taking a few simple measures and planning ahead can really help you make the most of your dining experience.