You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/co-worker/customers are saying. You often find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.
On conference calls you move in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re straining to keep up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors like environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on the way we hear. But for individuals who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are a few behaviors to help you identify whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
Hearing loss most likely didn’t happen overnight even though it might feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
That means that if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment right away.