If you are hard of hearing, there are many things you can do to overcome some of your hearing problems and gain more control over communicative situations. Below is a list of advice that might help you minimise your hearing problems when going to, for instance, a restaurant, a dinner party or church.
- If it is difficult to hear the person who is talking to you then try to move closer. When you shorten the distance to the sound source, the sound will automatically be amplified and it will become easier for you to hear what the other person is saying.
- Seat yourself in the centre of a group where it is easy to hear and see everybody. It is often best to avoid sitting at the very end of a table or a long sofa.
- If you are going to a restaurant or a private dinner party and loud background music is being played, then do not be shy to ask if the volume can be turned down.
- Noise levels can vary considerably even within the same room. Therefore, it will often be a good idea to place yourself away from noise-producing areas as, for example, the entrance, the kitchen in a restaurant, heating systems or loudspeakers.
- Planning in advance or arriving early will often prove helpful. If, for instance, you are going to the cinema or the theatre then call in advance and ask if they provide assistive listening devices or if they can recommend any seats for people with hearing problems.
- Arrive early if you are going to a lecture or to church. In this way you have time to inform the speaker about your hearing problem and to stress that it is important that he or she uses the microphone properly and at all times.
- In connection with question and answer sessions, ask if the person who answers the questions can repeat the questions before answering.