In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your clients, colleagues, and supervisor to see that you’re completely involved when you’re at work. You often find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.
On conference calls you lean in closer. You watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.
Some research shows that situational factors like environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how we hear. These factors are always in play, but they can be a lot worse for individuals who are suffering from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are a few habits to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing loss is not impacting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Unable to hear others talking behind you
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Requesting that repeat themselves again and again… and again
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment now.