In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. 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 less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
On conference calls you move in closer. You look closely at body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re straining to keep up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors like background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their environment, according to research. But for individuals who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Requesting that repeat themselves over and over again
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what they were saying
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it could feel as if it did. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss 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. Start by making an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.