You want to be courteous when you’re talking with friends. You want your customers, co-workers, and boss to recognize that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
On conference calls you move in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of the conversation, and you’re straining to keep up. You might not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
According to some studies, situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on the way a person hears. These factors are always in play, but they can be much more severe for individuals who have hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are some habits to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not impacting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Leaning in during conversations and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what they were saying
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Most people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the problem and seeking help.
That means that if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment now.