In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your customers, co-workers, and manager to see that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. With family, you may find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a bit 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 read 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. You may not realize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their environment, according to research. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Look out for these behaviors
Here are a few habits to help you determine whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss is not impacting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it could feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment right away.