You want to be polite when you are talking to friends. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/co-worker/customers are talking about. With family, you might find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re straining to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not know it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.
Some research shows that situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on the way a person hears. 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 revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your social and professional life:
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
- Requesting that repeat themselves over and over again
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel that way. Most people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the issue and seeking help.
That means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Start by making an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.