In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your clients, co-workers, and boss to see that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, and tune in to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on the way we hear. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are some behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not affecting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Leaning in When people are talking and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Not able to hear others talking behind you
Hearing loss most likely didn’t occur overnight even though it may feel that way. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the issue and finding help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been occurring for some time undetected. Begin by making an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.