In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your boss/co-worker/clients are saying. You frequently find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
On conference calls you lean in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational factors like background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their environment, according to research. These factors are always in play, but it can be much more severe for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Here are some behaviors to help you identify whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss is not affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Leaning in When people are talking and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
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 seeking help.
That means if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. So start by scheduling an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.