In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your customers, co-workers, and supervisor to see that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of what was said. You might not know it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational factors including background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their surroundings, according to studies. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
There are certain tell-tale habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life:
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others about what was said
- Not able to hear people talking behind you
- Leaning in When people are talking and unconsciously cupping your ear with your hand
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat themselves
While it might feel like this snuck 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 individuals 7 years or more.
This means that if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Start by making an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.