In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. You want your customers, co-workers, and supervisor to see that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You need to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look closely at body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re straining to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not realize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
According to some studies, situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on the way a person hears. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Look out for these behaviors
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not impacting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Unable to hear people talking from behind you
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
While it may feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Most people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the issue and seeking help.
That means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.