Dining Out with Hearing Loss

Communicate more effectively at restaurants

Who doesn’t love a Friday night out at a bustling restaurant, eating delicious food and having conversation with friends or family? Well, if you suffer from hearing loss, you know that this can be one of the most frustrating environments to be in. The background music and voices floating over from other tables can make it difficult to focus on who you’re trying to listen to, whether it be your spouse telling you about their day or the server listing off the specials.

It’s in your best interest to do a little research before a night out. This will help you choose a restaurant that’s easier to communicate in. Here are three tips for dining out with hearing loss.

1. Choose restaurants with sound-absorbing decor

This is something that most people probably don’t think about, but it can have a big difference in making a more enjoyable environment for those with hearing loss. Sound absorbing materials include:

  • Carpet
  • Curtains
  • Cushioned chairs
  • Acoustic panels

Alternatively, materials that reflect sound and you want to avoid include:

  • Glass windows
  • Hardwood floors
  • Iron
  • Metal

2. Use online resources

Check online review sites such as Google or Yelp. Diners often provide information about the ambiance and noise levels in addition to how the food tasted. You can sometimes view photos and get a better idea of the materials used in the space. Google may even provide the peak times that people visit, which tend to be the noisiest and can be avoided.

3. Make reservations ahead of time

Calling ahead to reserve a table allows you to request a quiet corner or booth, away from windows, in a well-lit area. You should also share your needs with the staff. They may have suggestions that you had not considered.

If you find yourself struggling to hear at restaurants, it may be time for a proper hearing evaluation. Visit any one of our 1,400 locations nationwide to consult with a hearing care professional today.

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