You want to be courteous when you’re talking with friends. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/peers/customers are talking about. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re straining to keep up because you missed most of what was said. You may not recognize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
Some research shows that situational factors such as environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on the way a person hears. These factors are always in play, but they can be much more severe for people who have hearing loss.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing loss isn’t affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Requesting that repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others about what was said
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel as if it did. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
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 fooling yourself and schedule an appointment now.