I probably wouldn’t be big on eating out even if my hearing was good (I love to cook) but meals out when you can’t hear certainly have their challenges.
Problem one – Busy, noisy pubs, restaurants and cafes with lots of hard surfaces for the sound to bounce off (tiled floors, tables without table cloths, windows without curtains). It’s hard to believe the difference that soft furnishings make to speech comprehension if you have hearing loss, but it’s true. They absorb a lot of the clatter and make speech much easier to understand. Open plan restaurant kitchens are a particular disaster – all that rattling of pots and pans and the shriek of the coffee machines. I’m picturing Pizza Express as I write this. I like Pizza Express, but the acoustics can be terrible. Continue reading