In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. You want your clients, colleagues, and supervisor to see that you’re completely involved when you’re at work. You frequently 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.
On conference calls you lean in closer. You look closely at body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re struggling to catch up. You may not recognize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational variables including background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their environment, according to studies. But for people who suffer from hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment isn’t impacting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
Hearing loss probably didn’t occur overnight even though it may feel that way. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
That means if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has probably been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment now.