Going out to eat is a great activity to do with friends and family, but can be a loud and stressful experience, especially for those with hearing loss. Many popular restaurants will have a lot of background noise that can distract from conversations and also escalate to the point of hearing damage. This can come from all the other restaurant patrons, open kitchens, the hard reflective surfaces, and any music or t.v. sounds.
Luckily, you can utilize a few simple tips to make sure your night out is an enjoyable experience.
If you have hearing loss or wear hearing aids, then our audiologists in Omaha, NE have some advice to help you navigate restaurants and the accompanying noise:
1. Do some research beforehand
Doing some research before can help you pick the best restaurant. Take time to read reviews and pay attention to how people describe the atmosphere, if they describe it as too loud, it might be best to skip out. You can also see when its busy times are. Maybe going on a Monday instead of a Saturday, or hitting it up for lunch instead of dinner, can help ensure the restaurant is quieter when you go there to eat.
2. Ask for a corner table
Asking for a corner table can help block some of the noise, ensuring a wall that you can sit in front of. By sitting in front of the wall you can limit the distracting noises to be just in front of you, instead of surrounding you.
3. Sit strategically
If you are going out to eat with just one other person, then you will want to make sure that you are sitting directly across from them. This will give you the best view and chance to have a productive conversation. If things are getting too noisy, you can rely on lip reading and facial cues to help discern what is being said. If you are going out to eat with multiple people, the best thing to do is ask for a round table. This way it will be easier to see the face of whoever is talking, and voices will be projected to the center of the table.
4. Advocate for yourself
Don’t be afraid to tell the hostess, your server or the manager that you have hearing loss. This will make it easier for them to accommodate you. The hostess can seat you in a quieter area, the waiter can show you the specials in writing instead of verbally, and the manager may even be able to turn down the music or television volume inside the restaurant. Since hearing loss is an invisible condition, you will need to be vocal about it to receive help.
5. Wear your hearing aids
Your hearing aids will be your saving grace at restaurants, so if you have them, wear them. While they may pick up on some background noise too, they should amplify the speech of those closest to you like your friends or waiters. You can ask our audiologists in Omaha, NE at Active Hearing Health to also help you to program a setting for your hearing aid to best work in noisier environments like a restaurant.
The best audiologists in Omaha, NE can be found at Active Hearing Health! Dr. Nikki and Dr. Noel would love to help you to Hear Now, Live Better, and Stay Active!