Whether or not you have a hearing loss, there are always moments when it is a struggle to hear. We’ve all found ourselves in crowded restaurants or public transportation hubs where it’s difficult to hear even the person next to us. Here are a few tips for hearing better in noise.
Restaurants: Ask To Be Seated With Your Back To A Wall
Or, even better – ask for a booth! In the past decade, restaurants have had a renaissance, with celebrity chefs and cooking channels. Now, there are more “foodies” than ever. Along with trends for more sustainable, seasonal, and artistic food, restaurants have changed significantly in décor from traditional models. Gone are table linens, carpeted floors, and fancy napkins. These days, you may find yourself in a contemporary space, with high ceilings, cement floors, and an industrial-chic design. Open kitchen designs are also favored in new restaurant trends, as they add a level of flair and excitement to the dining experience. To create a lively environment, restaurants also turn up the music quite loud, which doesn’t help when the space is acoustically challenging. As such, the next time you find yourself at a restaurant, ask for a seat where you can position your back toward the wall. This cuts out a significant amount of ambient noise in the space. A booth is even better, as padded seats and the curved design of the furniture helps create a space where you can hear your dining companions better.
Use Technology To Your Advantage
Do you have hearing aids that connect wirelessly to your smartphone? (If you do not, and are interested, ask our team at Hearing Spa!) Hearing aids have advanced significantly in technology in the past few years. These days, with Bluetooth connectivity, you can connect your hearing aids to your smartphone, providing you with access to a whole lot of sound. Depending on the model of your hearing aids, you can stream phone calls, video chats, music, movies, and other media directly to your ears.
And, if you find yourself in a noisy environment, you can use your smartphone’s microphone as an assistive listening device. Most hearing aid manufacturers provide an app for your smartphone, which allows you to switch on the microphone, which picks up speakers’ voices and amplify the sounds even further, delivering rich sound to your ears.
Ask For Accommodations
A recent study on hearing loss disclosure revealed that people get better results when they share their difficulty with hearing and provide a suggestion for others to accommodate. For example, it’s not as useful to say “What?” all of the time, when you could be saying, “Would you mind walking on my right side? I have a difficult time hearing with my left ear.” This simple suggestion makes it easier for you to follow a conversation.
Get Your Hearing Tested
Background noise makes it difficult for people of all hearing types to communicate. If you have a hearing loss, background noise makes it particularly hard. Do you find that you often struggle to hear – even if you are not in noisy places? Are you familiar with the signs of hearing loss?
If you’ve answered “yes” to several of the questions below, chances are, you may have a hearing loss. Do you:
- Often ask people to repeat what they say?
- Have trouble hearing in groups?
- Think others mumble?
- Fail to hear someone talking from behind you?
- Turn up the volume on the TV or car radio?
- Have difficulty on the phone?
- Have trouble hearing your alarm clock?
- Have difficulty hearing at the movies
- Dread going to noisy parties and restaurants?
If these scenarios sound familiar, it may be more than just background noise getting in the way.
Treating Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is the third most common medical condition the United States, affecting 20% of the population. Many people wait an average of seven years from the time they first experience changes to their hearing to the time they decide to seek treatment. If you’ve been struggling to hear in noise, and in other parts of your life, the time to seek treatment for hearing loss is now. Contact us at Hearing Spa today to schedule an appointment for a hearing test. We also provide hearing aid fittings.