In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. You want your customers, co-workers, and supervisor to recognize that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
You need to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You watch for facial cues, listen for inflection, and tune in to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re straining to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not recognize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational variables including background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their environment, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but they can be a lot worse for people who have hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment isn’t affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Leaning in during conversations and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Requesting that repeat themselves over and over again
While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Most people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been occurring for some time undetected. Begin by scheduling an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.