In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/colleagues/clients are talking about. You frequently 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 lean in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re straining to catch up. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational variables including background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their environment, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but they can be much more severe for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Look out for these behaviors
Here are some behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing loss isn’t affecting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Not able to hear others talking from behind you
- Leaning in When people are talking and unconsciously cupping your ear with your hand
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. Most people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the problem and seeking help.
That means that if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has probably been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment right away.