In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your supervisor/colleagues/clients are saying. 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 watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re straining to keep up. You might not realize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
Some research shows that situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on how a person hears. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
There are some revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is impacting your social and professional life:
- Unable to hear people talking behind you
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it could feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
This means that if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment right away.