You want to be polite when you’re talking with friends. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your supervisor/co-worker/customers are talking about. You often find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier 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 watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe your in denial. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re struggling to catch up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational factors such as background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their surroundings, according to research. These factors are always in play, but it can be much more extreme for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
There are some revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life:
- Not able to hear others talking from behind you
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
While it might feel like this snuck up on you in an all-of-a-sudden way, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. Most people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the problem and finding help.
This means if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. So begin by scheduling an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.