Tips for a better dining out experience

Post by: Ellie Zuber

Hearing loss is a disorder that can be socially isolating and often times leads people to withdraw from social settings. When a person treats their hearing loss with hearing aids, the common misconception by patients and their families is that they have now been cured and all of their problems are solved. While hearing aids certainly give patients great benefit—they do not restore normal hearing. And patients continue to struggle in certain areas. One of the most common struggles hearing aid users face is hearing in background noise, such as a restaurant or party setting. If you are having difficulty hearing when you are out in these types of environments there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances for success.

1.     See your audiologist Newer technology hearing aids offer noise programs which help to filter out some of the background noise and focus more on the speaker(s) in a close vicinity.

2.     Be picky about your table Hearing aids are programmed to attenuate (or turn down) the sounds positioned behind you and focus on what is in front of you. Because of this, it’s beneficial to choose a seat (or stand) with the majority of noise behind you. If you are eating out, ask the hostess for a table near the wall so you can more easily block out some of the background noise.

3.     Be your own advocate If you and your friend or family are trying to decide where to eat out, remind them that some environments will be more challenging for you than others. Picking restaurants that don’t have loud music playing (like a sports bar) and are smaller in size will be much easier to hear and communicate in.

While there may not be a way to completely get rid of background noise (I know, I wish I could too..), making simple decisions like these can set you up for success and make dining out a more enjoyable experience!

Anna Bogdon