You want to be polite when you’re talking to friends. You want your customers, co-workers, and supervisor to see that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. You frequently find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.
On conference calls you move in closer. You watch for facial cues, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. Your straining to catch up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors including background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their setting, according to research. But for people who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
Here are a few behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss isn’t affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat what they said
Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. So begin by scheduling an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.