In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your clients, colleagues, and supervisor to see that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. You frequently find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
On conference calls you lean in closer. You watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re straining to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational variables including background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their environment, according to studies. These factors are relevant, but they can be a lot more severe for people who suffer from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are a few habits to help you determine whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss is not affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
- Unable to hear others talking from behind you
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.
This means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.