You want to be courteous when you are talking with friends. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your boss/peers/customers are talking about. You frequently find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
On conference calls you lean in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard everything.
Maybe your in denial. You missed lots of the conversation, and you’re struggling to keep up. You may not realize it, but years of cumulative 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 influenced by situational variables like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their environment, according to research. These factors are always in play, but it can be a lot worse for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Here are a few habits to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not impacting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
- Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Unable to hear people talking from behind you
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what someone was saying
While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the issue and seeking help.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. So begin by making an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.