New users have to get used to their new aids. The number 1 thing they love about their new aids is that they don’t have to strain to hear anymore. But the number 1 thing they can’t get used to is the background noise.
Despite the complex microchip & tremendous advances in hearing aid technology, background noise can still be a problem.
After probably many years of not hearing much background noise the sudden ability to hear everyday noises like rustling paper & plates clashing together can take time to get used to. It can be very challenging. But with time these noises do get better. And remember even when you had normal hearing background noise was a problem. Wearing your aids will not eliminate this entirely.
Background noise can affect you in two ways. Firstly, it can make it nearly impossible to understand what someone is saying because of the noise & Secondly the noise may distract you from what the person is saying to you.
Although there is no cure for these problems users can explore options of lessening the problems with background noise.
Ways in which you can lessen the impact of background noise.
Think about the last time you went to a restaurant and found yourself bombarded by noise: other people’s conversation, music in the background, clanging dishes and cutlery, noise from the kitchen, etc. Now think about the ways you could use to minimize the difficulties you have the next time you dine out. You may find these suggestions helpful:
- Make reservations ahead of time. Then you can specify your table requirements. Pick a table in the least noisy part of the restaurant (e.g away from the kitchen, bar, etc) in a well lit area & sit with your back to the window, so the light is on their face & not in your eyes.
- Plan ahead by picking a quieter restaurant. Try to find carpeted restaurants that have chairs with rollers on the legs (thus preventing an annoying scraping sound when they are moved).
- Pick the best day and time (not Friday nights!) to dine out.
- Look on the restaurant’s website to preview the menu. And ask the waiter/waitress for a printed specials menu.
- Request that staff turn down background music (you are probably not the only patron bothered by the volume of the music).
- Tell the host and waiter, as well as your dining companions, that you have a hearing loss and that it will help you if they slow down a bit, speak a little bit louder, and face you directly.
- Remember that even people with normal hearing experience greater difficulty in a noisy listening environment than they do in a quiet listening environment. So, don’t expect to do as well with your hearing aids in the noisy restaurant as you do in the quiet of your home.
- Relax and enjoy the fine food and the company, even if you don’t catch every word.
Try some of the suggestions in this article, and you may once again enjoy dining out with family and friends.
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