In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/customers are talking about. With family, you may find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to 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 look for facial hints, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re struggling to keep up. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors including background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their environment, according to research. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more difficult.
Here are some habits to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing loss is not affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what someone was saying
- Requesting that people repeat themselves over and over again
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
Hearing loss probably didn’t occur overnight even though it could feel as if it did. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before accepting the issue and finding help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.