In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/colleagues/customers are saying. With family, you may find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You need to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re straining to keep up. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors such as background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their surroundings, according to research. But for people who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Look out for these behaviors
There are certain revealing habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it could feel that way. Most people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and seeking help.
This means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.