Restaurants Need Not be a Challenging Environment for Those with a Hearing Impairment
People with hearing loss are often reluctant to attend dinner invitations at restaurants. Eating joints are often accompanied with loud music that may be fun for those with regular hearing, but are challenging for those with hearing loss. The constant clinging of cutlery and multiple conversations also pose a challenge for a hearing impaired individual. So should you avoid the next dinner invitation simply because of your hearing loss? No way! Using these recommendations, you can not only attend, but also enjoy your next get together at your favorite restaurant.
Several restaurants come with different seating arrangements such as regular tables as well as booths. Those with hearing loss can benefit from availing a booth by placing a prior request with your host.
Make sure you sit somewhere in the middle of your table so that you can hear conversations from both sides of your table. If you sit at the extreme end, you may miss out on majority of the conversations, especially when you attend with big groups of people.
Sitting away from the air conditioning vent, the fan or the music speakers is also recommended. This will help you focus better on the conversations at your table rather than being distracted by the constant buzzing of the air conditioning. You may even request your server or the manager if they would be kind enough to reduce the volume in case there is music playing in the restaurant.
Those with hearing aids that are equipped with directional microphones can sit at a position where the background noises are behind them. This will help eliminate the possibility of your hearing aids picking up on any background noise since directional microphones tend to focus more on the sounds that occur directly in front. You can call ahead and request that you be seated away from the kitchen or the bar area where most of the background noise takes place. This will help minimize the level of distraction and help you focus on the conversations at your table.
Make sure you sit at a place that enables you to have full eye contact with those who are speaking to you. Using simple visual cues will help you enjoy your dinner invitation a lot more. Sit directly in front of the person you intend to speak to during your meal, so that you have their eye contact as well as the added benefit of being able to read their lips if necessary.
Spending too much time on what you want to eat can be yet another distraction. To avoid taking up too much time by looking online at the restaurants menus to get an idea as to what you would like to order beforehand. This way, you do not have to lose track of the conversations taking place while you order.
No matter what the case, make sure you enjoy yourself to the fullest. Savor the food and the company. Relax and let go of all your frustrations; you will find that your hearing loss will no longer be a bother.