You want to be courteous when you are talking with friends. You want your clients, colleagues, and supervisor to recognize that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, and tune in to body language. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
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 cut off and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors like background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their environment, according to studies. These factors are relevant, but they can be a lot worse for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
Here are a few behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment isn’t impacting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others what you missed
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Unable to hear others talking behind you
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment now.