You want to be courteous when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your boss/colleagues/customers are saying. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
On conference calls you move in closer. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on the way a person hears. But for individuals who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Look out for these behaviors
There are certain tell-tale behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your professional life:
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others what you missed
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment now.