6 March 2018 – You don’t have to give up your social life or doing the things you enjoy if you have hearing loss. That’s the message from Life Unlimited hearing therapist Trish Carraher, who works with people to better manage the impact of hearing loss on daily life.
Trish has some great tips for living well with hearing loss, whether you’re a cinema buff or a social butterfly.
At your local restaurant or café
Avoid restaurants with hard floors and high ceilings. Sound reverberates making it tricky to hear what people are saying. Soft furnishings like tablecloths, rugs and curtains can help.
Ask to be seated in a quiet area away from the kitchen or stereo. Coffee machines can be extremely noisy too!
Good lighting allows you to see visual cues like lip movements and facial expressions, which are really important for good communication.
At the movies
Before heading out to a movie read up on the storyline to help your understanding in case you miss any important dialogue.
Check for subtitled movies or ask if there are any assistive listening facilities.
Some cinemas have a loop system. This transmits sound which is received by the telecoil in your hearing aid if you wear one.
Or the cinema may have headsets or CaptiView devices available. These sit in your cupholder and have a small display screen for captions that can be positioned at a comfortable reading height.
At meetings, lectures or church services
Arrive early to get a good seat. You’ll want to be close enough to see the speaker so you can pick up on those visual cues, and near the sound system.
At meetings, read the agenda ahead of time so you know what will be discussed. And even though it can be daunting, speak up and let people know if you’re having trouble understanding what’s being said. The chances are you’re not the only person in the room having trouble hearing.
No matter where you are going make sure you’re well rested. It’s difficult to concentrate on conversation when you’re tired.
But most of all don’t let hearing difficulties mean you miss out on social occasions and special events.