You want to be courteous when you’re talking to friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and boss to see that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On conference calls you move in closer. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
Maybe your in denial. Your struggling to catch up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational variables like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their surroundings, according to studies. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
Here are some behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment isn’t impacting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Not able to hear others talking from behind you
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been occurring for some time undetected. So begin by making an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.