In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your clients, colleagues, and boss to see that you’re totally involved when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier to just 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 pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to catch up. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors such as environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on the way we hear. These factors are relevant, but they can be much worse for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
There are certain revealing habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life:
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Most people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the issue and seeking help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been occurring for some time undetected. Start by making an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.