You want to be courteous when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your supervisor/co-worker/customers are saying. With family, you might find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look closely at body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of the conversation, and you’re straining to keep up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors like room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how we hear. But for people who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
Here are a few habits to help you identify whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment isn’t affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Not able to hear others talking from behind you
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others about what was said
While it may feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the issue and finding help.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment now.