In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/colleagues/customers are talking about. With family, you might find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On conference calls you lean in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard everything.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to keep up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and tasks 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 impacted by situational factors such as background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their environment, according to research. These factors are relevant, but they can be a lot more extreme for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Look out for these behaviors
Here are a few habits to help you determine whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat what they said
Hearing loss most likely didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment now.