You want to be polite when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your manager/colleagues/customers are talking about. With family, you might find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re straining to keep up. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors like background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to studies. But for people who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Look out for these behaviors
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment isn’t impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Unable to hear people talking behind you
Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it could feel that way. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before accepting the problem and seeking help.
This means that if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment right away.