In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your clients, co-workers, and boss to see that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. You frequently find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
On conference calls you move in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on how we hear. These factors are always in play, but they can be a lot more severe for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are some behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss isn’t affecting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others what you missed
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment now.