Kids are heading back to school, the summer heat is clearing out, and all thoughts are turning to the next season. Whether or not you’re excited at the prospect of pumpkin lattes, it’s time to shift gears, including with regard to your hearing. During the summer we tend to spend time outdoors in well-spaced groups, but fall can mean a return to loud contained environments, including crowded restaurants, bars and conference rooms. Take a look at our checklist of tips for fall’s return to noisy environments and make sure you never miss out on a conversation.
Fall is a good time to check in on your healthcare, and your hearing healthcare is no exception. Make appointments with your physician and audiologist to check up on your hearing and get new information on hearing assistance apps and devices.
Call ahead to restaurants to see if you can secure a table in a quieter secondary room or in a corner, where it’s easier to hear. Keep the guest list small so that you can enjoy the conversation without having to cope with extra noise.
There’s nothing like an autumnal cocktail at a cozy bar, but the noise level can ruin the fun. Many upscale restaurants have quieter bars, and taking care to avoid college scenes and Saturday nights will help ensure you can hear your friend or date.
Fall means football games for many people, but hearing over the crowd noise is extremely difficult, even for those who don’t struggle with hearing loss. Sitting as well removed as you can from the cheering will help, but when that’s not possible, it can be a relief to let friends and family know ahead of time that you expect to have difficulty hearing, and that it doesn’t detract from your enjoyment of the game. If they know you are not unhappy with the noise, it helps everyone to relax and have a good time.
If you are returning to or starting a job in a noisy environment, make sure to protect your hearing with ear covers or earplugs. Sustained noise levels over 85 decibels can cause lasting damage to hearing, and many industrial or transportation-related work environments exceed safe levels of noise.
For all of these situations, a high quality hearing assistance device will help to cut through noise and zero in on what it is you need to hear. Smartphone tools such as Apple’s Conversation Booster, which will be available this fall, help to listen directionally, rather than amplifying all the noise in the room. Noopl (if we may toot our own horns!) does an unparalleled job of targeting individual voices so that you can hear them much more clearly in noisy situations.
With advance planning and/or the right hearing assistance tools, getting back into the more difficult hearing situations presented by the indoors and more crowded spaces does not need to be daunting.