It’s summer. In many parts of the country that means it’s easier to get out of the house. There’s plenty to do, sun, fun, music, family and more. But some social outings can be intimidating for those with hearing loss.
There are uncertainties about how well you’ll hear and how that may impact your experience. In the end, you may choose to save your money and not go out rather than pay only to be disappointed. That’s never the right answer.
Social activities are essential to staying healthy, happy and youthful.
Fortunately, with just a little planning you can put your mind at ease with these seven tips when planning to attend summer social events.
1. Speak Up
Are you the one who never expresses a preference when others are trying to decide where to eat or what to do? Speak up! Have an opinion. It could be the difference between enjoyment and complete misery. And in most cases, it makes no difference to your friends and family.
When people are bouncing ideas around, think about good and bad experiences you’ve had with hearing loss in those settings. Make suggestions.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Does the place you’re going to have accommodations for the hearing impaired? Do they have a hearing loop system? Is their sound system compatible with your hearing aid’s blue tooth technology or a smartphone app that you use to hear better?
The more people who ask about these technologies, the more businesses will invest in them to get your business. And choosing places that have invested in these technologies supports those who care about people with hearing loss.
You’re not a bother for asking for information, and you’ll have a better experience because of it.
3. Bring Ear Plugs
Keep a pair in your wallet, purse or car just in case. If you’re going somewhere where that you know will be loud, don’t cause more damage by ignoring your hearing protection.
Summer activities like practice shooting, fireworks, motocross, concerts and even going to the movies can cause further hearing loss. Be prepared.
4. Keep a Spare Battery
Don’t get caught with a hearing aid that’s going out at an important event. Hot, cold, moisture and usage can all make the life of your battery unpredictable. Bring an extra set of batteries just in case.
Don’t miss out because your battery decided to go out at the worst time.
5. Sit Close
As someone with hearing loss, you know how important reading lips can be when you can’t hear well. Request to sit in the first few rows at a play or seminar so you can use your lip reading skills as a backup if hearing is difficult.
If you’re going to a restaurant, ask about the lighting. A dark restaurant will make lip reading difficult.
6. Consider the Furnishings
What?! Yes, consider the furnishings at the place you’re going. Places that have lots of solid surfaces like wood floors and bare tables will amplify background noises making it harder to hear what you’re focusing on. Curtains, tablecloths, seat cushions and carpet all absorb background noise making it easier to hear what you want to hear.
7. Wear Your Hearing Aid
In most any summer social activity from a barbeque to a swimming party, you’ll feel better and more connected with your hearing aid. Don’t let anything keep you from experiencing the moment in its fullest with your hearing.
If you love water activities, hearing loss doesn’t have to stop you. You can get water resistant and waterproof hearing aids.
If you’re struggling with hearing at social events, it may be time to talk to an audiologist about the latest in hearing solutions. Don’t let hearing loss take the joy out of social events.