You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. You want your clients, colleagues, and manager to recognize that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look closely at body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard everything.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors like background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their surroundings, according to studies. But for people who have 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 loss is affecting your professional life:
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
- Not able to hear people talking from behind you
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
While it may feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
That means that if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment now.