A lot of people are surprised when I tell them that they can improve their hearing just by making simple changes to their environment.
When you have high-frequency hearing loss (the most common problem I see), having a one-on-one conversation in a quiet environment can usually go pretty well for you.
Of course, this is providing that the other person is speaking at a relatively normal level without any other noise to compete with.
It’s when the background noise picks up that the struggle begins.
Fact is… it’s hard for everybody to hear in background noise – whether we have hearing loss or not.
Here are some strategies that’ll help you take control of your environment and make it easier to understand people better in tougher situations:
- Select a quiet restaurant (preferably without music or entertainment)
- Request a table in a quiet area at a distance from the kitchen
- Sit where there is good lighting
- Ensure that light is not shining directly in your eyes
- Conversation will be easier to follow if the group is small
In the Car:
- If one ear is better than the other, sit with your better ear toward the center of the car
- Keep the windows closed to minimize traffic, road, and wind noise
- Turn off the radio/stereo system
Attending Theatre, Concerts, or Movies:
- When purchasing tickets, inquire if a loop, infrared, or FM system is available. If not, request preferential seating
- Make an effort to become familiar with the program in advance – this will make it easier to follow the plot should the sound quality be poor
Attending Lectures or Meetings:
- If hearing is similar in both ears, sit in the middle of the P.A. speakers
- If one ear is much better than the other, sit with your better ear toward the speakers
- Always use your hearing instruments if you have them
- Inform family and friends about your situation
- Teach your family to talk clearly and keep eye contact when conversing
- Teach your family how to involve you in conversations
Did I forget any?
Can you help add to this list?
If so, please make a comment on this post.
Or, send me an email using the form below and I’ll add your suggestions.