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Summer gathering staying social with hearing loss among friends

Staying Social with Hearing Loss

Published 05-08-2019
Last Updated 09-08-2019

Public spaces aren't always the easiest when you're not hearing comfortably. This doesn't have to be the case, with these tips and a conscious effort to be mindful of one another, we can bring everyone into the conversation.
Most of us can think of a time where we've been in a really loud venue and tried to have a conversation. Restaurants, bars, family events, and concerts are all places people with hearing loss have to work harder to hear. It becomes difficult for a listener to tune out the crowd and listening to the person in front of them. 

It's not too hard to see why having hearing loss can make you feel slightly less inclined to leave the house at times. If you have a friend, spouse, or relative that has difficulty hearing, or if you experience it yourself, there are some easy things you can do that will go a long way.

Good lighting creates good conversation

Though not always necessary, more so for those with significant to severe hearing loss, the ability to read lips is a nice added touch. If you're going out with someone you know has a harder time hearing, take the seat in the light if possible. Don't make any mention of it, just do it naturally, it'll be appreciated subtly as well.

Save a seat

If you're having dinner with a group, make sure your friend or relative with hearing loss has a seat near the middle of the table so he or she can hear and see everyone well. This will assist with making sure conversations can be understood better, rather than trying to listen and speak from across the table.

Consider your sound environment

Parties and other gatherings can be tough for people with hearing loss. Group conversations can make hearing especially difficult, and those with hearing loss can wind up feeling isolated rather than included. Try to avoid overly noisy settings like clubs or crowded bars in favor of a quieter, more intimate location.

Call ahead

Make a reservation and be sure to ask for a quieter table if possible, away from the kitchen, servers’ stations, or speakers. When you arrive at the restaurant, if the background music is too loud, be sure to let the host know, they may be able to turn it down.