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Tips for Eating at Restaurants When You Have Hearing Loss

Dining out at your favorite restaurant and not having to cook a meal can be a very enjoyable experience. However, it can be daunting if you have trouble hearing. Don’t worry, we have tips for eating at restaurants when you have hearing loss. We will help you enjoy your meal out and make the most out of your time visiting with friends and family.

How Popular is Restaurant Dining?

From fast food to diners, to bistros, grills, and the like, there are plenty of restaurants and everyone has their favorite. Americans do eat out quite a bit. In fact, a Gallup poll in 2016 reported 61% of those surveyed at out at least once in the past week. This year, a Zagat survey reported that the number one complaint from diners (24%) was noise. So, if you have trouble hearing when you eat out, you are definitely not alone and should not be the least bit worried about asking for accommodations. You deserve to enjoy your meal and your time away from your kitchen. Here are 7 tips for eating at restaurants when you have hearing loss.

  1. Make reservations or call ahead. Even if a restaurant doesn’t take reservations, you can always call ahead and make a request. Let the host or hostess know when you are coming in and how large your party is. Explain you have hearing loss and it would really mean so much to you if they could help you with seating. Request a low traffic area away from the speakers, kitchen, and air conditioner. If possible, this area should be well lit.
  2. Ask to turn down the music. You probably want to choose a restaurant that doesn’t play loud music. However, even soft music can interfere with your hearing. Don’t be afraid to ask them to turn the music down. The restaurant may not be able to be that accommodating, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Remember whenever asking to be polite and understanding.
  3. Choose a booth over a table. Booths are more intimate and usually aren’t centrally located like tables are. Plus, booths often have high backs that will defer noise away from you. Unless your host or hostess recommends otherwise, choose a booth.
  4. Sit in the middle of your table. Especially if you have a big party you are dining with, try to sit in the middle rather than at the end. You have a better chance of hearing more people if you are at the center of the action.
  5. Request written specials. At many restaurants, the server will come over and announce the specials. You can ask the server, or even ask ahead of time for a written list of specials. This will eliminate asking the server to repeat his or herself over and over. Let’s face it, most people can’t hear what the server says when they come over and rattle off a memorized list of new dishes they just learned about.
  6. Avoid the crowds. Most restaurants are busy during the peak hours for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you can work around those times, you will have a less crowded, and therefore less noisy restaurant which can boost your dining experience in more ways than one.
  7. Adjust your hearing aids. If you are wearing hearing aids, make sure to adjust them for the environment. Opt to sit with your back to the noisiest part of the room. Your directional microphones are designed to pick up noise in front of you, so your hearing aids won’t amplify the noise coming from behind you.

Consult with the Experts at Smithtown / Sayville Hearing Services

If you want to learn more about hearing loss evaluations and treatments, just let us know. Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment. We’d love to see you and answer any questions you have for us. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are dedicated to your hearing health and helping you to live with hearing loss! We have two convenient hearing center locations on Long Island: one in Sayville,NY and the second in Smithtown,NY.

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Ten signs of hearing loss you can’t afford to miss

If you had hearing loss, would you know it? Not necessarily. Hearing loss often starts subtly and symptoms can take decades to manifest themselves as it progresses slowly over time. The most common type of hearing loss, age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), can shift so gradually that you may not realize how much you are missing. In fact, as hearing worsens, you may subconsciously adjust everyday activities and social interactions to cope with hearing difficulties. In time, you might not notice how gradually hearing loss has diminished your ability to live your life to its fullest. Luckily, you can do things to improve this situation and re-engage with loved ones.

Knowing the signs of hearing loss is key to success

There are many signs of hearing loss. It starts with everyday annoyances. Some are blatant, others are subtle. If you or a loved one are showing these signs, we encourage you to make an appointment for a complimentary hearing assessment.*

  1. “People are mumbling” – This could indicate hearing loss.

    You may notice that certain words are difficult to understand. People, especially women and children, may seem to be talking too softly or not enunciating their words. Chances are you find yourself saying, “What did you say?” all the time. If this sounds like you, you may be experiencing hearing loss.

  2. Are restaurants too loud?

    Restaurants are among the hardest places to navigate for people with untreated hearing loss. Background noises, such as clinking dishes, people speaking loudly at other tables and loud music all make it exceptionally challenging to follow a conversation.

  3. Social gatherings aren’t fun anymore

    People talking passionately, music, laughter and other competing sounds can make it harder to take part in get-togethers with family and friends. Perhaps you find yourself “sitting out” of the fun or heading home early. There is good news. You don’t have to. The professionals at Smithtown Sayville Hearing Services can help you with ways to cope with hearing loss so you can enjoy the holidays with this simple guide to enjoying social events with hearing loss.

  4. Conversations take too much effort

    Are you exhausted at the end of the day, or a end of the meeting at work? The stress of straining to hear what others are saying can take its toll on your wellness.

  5. Telephone conversations are a struggle

    Telephone, and especially cell phone, transmission is not perfect. Most people can fill in the gaps. Hearing loss compounds the problem and you may struggle to take in the information. This may lead you to avoid phone calls and resort to texting.

  6. Hearing loss affects you and your loved ones

    Hearing loss can take an emotional toll on you and your loved ones. If one or more of these descriptions ring true to you, hearing loss may be the culprit.

  7. High volume is a sign of hearing loss

    Even if you think the volume is fine, if your family and friends complain that you turn up the volume too loud when you watch television or listen to music, you may be experiencing a well-known sign of hearing loss. Are you tired of the constant battle to enjoy TV with family or friends at a sound level that makes everyone happy? It might be worth it to check your hearing, if only to make your family happy.

  8. Are your ears ringing?

    Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is often the first sign of hearing loss. Tinnitus impacts people of all ages, and may be attributed to trauma, exposure to loud noise or illness. It might be a slight annoyance or make it difficult for you to concentrate, sleep, work and even maintain relationships. According to the American Tinnitus Association, 56% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss.[i]

  9. You are out of balance – loss of balance is a sign of hearing loss

    Hearing loss may be a sign of an underlying condition that is also impairing your balance. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Universityii found that even a mild degree of hearing loss tripled the risk of an accidental fall.

  10. You are opting out of engaging with people

Is hearing loss putting you in solitary confinement? Have you noticed that you are embarrassed to meet new people? Perhaps you are afraid to join in because you may not understand what is being said. Perhaps you withdraw if it is easier to live without straining to hear people.

Other signs of hearing loss – You are not yourself

Have you felt depressed, distracted or unengaged? Hearing loss has been linked to dementia, depression and other brain-related ailments, including stroke.

Take the first step to better hearing

Perhaps you’ve avoided getting treatment because you are afraid of the stigma that some people associate with hearing aids. That’s old-school thinking. Besides, today’s hearing aids are minicomputers that subtly fit your ears – and your lifestyle.

To get started, we encourage you to come in for a professional hearing assessment. Book an appointment to speak with a professional about addressing your hearing loss.*

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Holiday Gift Ideas for People with Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids

The time for gift giving is upon us. That means presents for everyone, including your loved ones who have hearing loss or wear hearing aids. We have a great list of gift ideas that you can add to your holiday shopping list.

  • Headphones that Work with Hearing Aids: Newer models of hearing aids are made with some of the latest technology. That means they can be compatible with other tech devices that will help you connect to the world around you. Headphones are now available that work with hearing aids and help amplify media sounds without just turning up the volume and possibly causing more damage.
  • Digital Doorbells:  These new security doorbell devices might be on more holiday wish lists and were not necessarily designed for the hearing impaired. However, they definitely can make life easier as well as more secure for those with hearing loss. They alert a connected smartphone when someone rings the doorbell. The homeowner will not only be alerted that someone is at the door, but can see who is there.
  • Sign Language Tools: If your loved one with hearing loss is learning sign language, there are many different books or tools that might help them learn this helpful way to communicate. Another sweet sentiment is jewelry with the sign for “I Love You”.
  • Alternative Alarm Clocks for Hearing Loss: These new versions of alarm clocks help those with hearing loss wake up by using vibration or light instead of the traditional music or sound.
  • Hearing Aid Decorations: Why hide hearing aids? One of the latest trends is to highlight hearing aids with decals, charms, covers, stickers, etc. Both kids and adults will enjoy these unique and special gifts.
  • Hearing Loss Awareness Jewelry: Another way to build awareness for hearing loss with a little style and bling is hearing loss awareness jewelry. You can find necklaces, earrings, or bracelets with the hearing loss awareness symbol on the charm. Another idea is jewelry charms or decorative pins that say “Hard of Hearing” or “I Read Lips”.
  • Hearing Aids for Children’s Toys: Kids with hearing loss like to know that they aren’t alone. American Girl dolls have a hearing aid available as an accessory for the popular dolls. Build A Bear Workshop also has this awesome accessory to help little ones see that hearing aids are common accessories and that their toys can be just like them.
  • Hearing Aid Case or Dehumidifier: Hearing aids are a big investment and need special care. One way to care for them is by using a case when they are not being worn. An even better option is a dehumidifier. This is a great tool, especially for those who live in humid environments because it can help extend the life of hearing aids by keeping them dry.
  • A Gift Card to the Audiologist: A gift card to the audiologist can be a great gift. Not only does it help with the expenses of hearing health, but it can make it easier to keep those necessary appointments.

Consult with the Experts at Smithtown / Sayville Hearing Services

If you want to learn more about hearing loss evaluations and treatments, just let us know. Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment. We’d love to see you and answer any questions you have for us. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are dedicated to your hearing health and helping you to live with hearing loss! We have two convenient hearing center locations on Long Island: one in Sayville,NY and the second in Smithtown,NY.

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Are these Problems Preventing You from Benefiting from Hearing Aids?

Are you among the 80% of people who are not benefiting from hearing aids even though you have them? That’s right, the National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that only 20% of people who have hearing aids are wearing them regularly and experiencing the better hearing benefits. We are here to help you troubleshoot your hearing aid use to ensure that you are getting the most out of them.

If you are experiencing any of these problems with your hearing aids, please call us right away to make an appointment so that we can help solve them for you. After all, you already made the investment in hearing aids, let’s make sure that you are enjoying the benefits too.

  1. Not fitting right. Your hearing aids are not only calibrated for your hearing, but also molded to your ears. If they are no longer fitting properly, make an appointment. It can just need a simple adjustment or re-molding to be able to work right again.
  2. Not working correctly. If you aren’t hearing the same way you could when you first got your hearing aids, then they might need to be re-calibrated. We can do that during your next visit, just call for an appointment.
  3. Outdated technology. Hearing aids aren’t made to last forever. New technology is invented all the time and if your hearing aids are outdated, come in for a consultation to see what is available or what can be done. If you aren’t ready for new hearing aids, we can still see about adjusting your current hearing aids so that they can continue helping you hear.
  4. Unsure about wearing them. Many people who get hearing aids don’t realize that there is a bit of an adjustment period to get used to them. Remember, practice makes perfect, but if you need help getting used to wearing your hearing aids, don’t hesitate to call us for a consultation.

Consult with the Experts at Smithtown / Sayville Hearing Services

If you want to learn more about hearing loss evaluations and treatments, just let us know. Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment. We’d love to see you and answer anything you’ve got for us. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are dedicated to your hearing health and all aspects of your life, living with hearing loss! We have two convenient hearing center locations on Long Island: one in Sayville,NY and the second in Smithtown,NY.

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