In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your supervisor/colleagues/clients are saying. With family, you might find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. 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 straining to keep up because you missed most of what was said. You may not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors like background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their environment, according to studies. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
There are certain tell-tale habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your professional life:
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Not able to hear people talking from behind you
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.
So if you’re detecting 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 schedule an appointment right away.