You want to be polite when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your boss/colleagues/customers are talking about. You often 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.
You need to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, and tune in to body language. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard everything.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. You may not realize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.
According to some studies, situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on how we hear. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
There are certain tell-tale behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your social and professional life:
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Requesting that repeat themselves over and over again
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel as if it did. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the issue and finding help.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Start by making an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.