You want to be courteous when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your supervisor/colleagues/clients are saying. You frequently find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
You need 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 that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
Maybe your in denial. Your straining to keep up because you missed most of what was said. You may not recognize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated 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 the way we hear. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
There are certain tell-tale habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your social and professional life:
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others about what was said
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
While it may feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. Most people wait 7 years on average before accepting the problem and finding help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment right away.