You want to be polite when you’re talking to friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and boss to recognize that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
On conference calls you move in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if none of that works, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re straining to keep up. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational variables including background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their surroundings, according to research. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Look out for these behaviors
Here are some behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing loss is not affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
- Not able to hear people talking behind you
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Start by scheduling an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.