You want to be courteous when you are talking with friends. You want your customers, co-workers, and boss to see that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. You often find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.
You need to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You watch for facial cues, listen for inflection, and tune in to body language. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re straining to keep up. You might not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
Some research shows that situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on the way we hear. These factors are relevant, but they can be far worse for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are some habits to help you identify whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing loss isn’t impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Not able to hear people talking behind you
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
While it may feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
That means that if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment now.