In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/customers are talking about. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard everything.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re straining to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not recognize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors like background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to research. These factors are relevant, but they can be a lot more severe for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
There are some tell-tale habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life:
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others about what was said
- Requesting that repeat themselves over and over again
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it might feel that way. 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 an issue now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Begin by making an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.