You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. You want your customers, co-workers, and boss to recognize that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. You often find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re struggling to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. Life at home and tasks 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 like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their setting, according to research. These factors are relevant, but they can be a lot more severe for individuals who have hearing loss.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are some habits to help you identify whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss isn’t affecting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Leaning in When people are talking and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel as if it did. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Begin by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.