In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/colleagues/customers are saying. You often find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe your in denial. Your struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
According to some studies, situational factors such as environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on how a person hears. These factors are relevant, but it can be a lot worse for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
There are some tell-tale behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your professional life:
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Requesting that people repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
Hearing loss most likely didn’t occur overnight even though it might feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.
This means if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. So begin by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.