You want to be courteous when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/colleagues/clients are talking about. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.
You need to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re straining to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors like background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their surroundings, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but they can be a lot more extreme for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss isn’t affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Not able to hear people talking from behind you
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
Hearing loss most likely didn’t occur overnight even though it might feel as if it did. Most people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the issue and seeking help.
This means that if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Start by scheduling an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.