You want to be polite when you are talking to friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and supervisor to recognize that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.
On conference calls you lean in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. Your straining to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. Life at home and tasks 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 room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on how a person hears. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
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 professional life:
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
- Not able to hear others talking from behind you
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
- 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
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it could feel as if it did. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment now.