Do you struggle to follow conversation in noisy environments?
No matter whether you have a hearing loss, wear hearing aids or even have normal hearing….listening in a noisy place can be challenging. It’s certainly not an ideal listening situation for anyone!
Even if your hearing test shows you have normal hearing, there are many other processing pathways that run up from our ears to our brains which we use when listening in BGN. The brain interprets different cues from each ear which help to filter out the noise and help you zone in on the conversation at hand.
What can help you in these noisy situations?
- Where possible always try and minimise background noise, whether that be as simple as turning off the TV
- Always face the person you are speaking with. In doing so you will be able to use other visual cues like lip reading, facial expressions and body language to help fill in the gaps of the conversation
- Ask people to speak a little clearly and more slowly rather than shouting as his just distorts speech
- Listen out for key vocab or even ask your partner to help cue you in on topic changes
- If you miss something, don’t just say ‘pardon’, ask them to rephrase or even repeat what you heard and ask for clarification
- Try avoid making bookings during peak times at restaurants and opt for an earlier or later booking
- Try choosing restaurant with more soft furnishings rather than hard surfaces
- Avoid sitting near areas such as the kitchen or near music speakers
- If you do wear hearing aids, speak to your audiologist to ensure they are fitted optimally and make an adjustments necessary or discuss any additional accessories that work with the hearing aids to help in these challenging situations
- Remember if you have a hearing loss in both ears, being fitted with two hearing aids is going to give you the best chance of following conversation in noise.
- Have a sense of humour – if you do mishear something, don’t take it too seriously, and remember to have a bit of a laugh!