In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. You want your clients, colleagues, and boss to recognize that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You need to lean 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 attempt to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. Life at home and tasks at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on the way a person hears. These factors are always in play, but they can be much more extreme for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
There are certain revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is impacting your social and professional life:
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Unable to hear people talking behind you
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Requesting that repeat themselves again and again… and again
Hearing loss most likely didn’t happen overnight even though it could feel as if it did. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. Begin by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.