In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/clients are talking about. With family, you might find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You need to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re straining to keep up. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on how a person hears. These factors are relevant, but they can be a lot more severe for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
There are certain revealing habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your social and professional life:
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
Hearing loss most likely didn’t occur overnight even though it might feel that way. Most people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the issue and seeking help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.