In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. You want your customers, co-workers, and manager to see that you’re totally involved when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.
On conference calls you move in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. Your straining to catch up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational variables such as background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their surroundings, according to research. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more difficult.
Here are a few habits to help you identify whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing loss isn’t impacting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what someone was saying
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Requesting that people repeat themselves over and over again
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the issue and finding help.
This means if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. So start by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.