In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your customers, colleagues, and boss to recognize that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You have 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 attempt to read people’s lips. And if none of that works, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re straining to keep up. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational variables including background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their environment, according to studies. These factors are relevant, but they can be much worse for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
There are some tell-tale habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
While it may feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Most people wait 7 years on average before accepting the issue and finding help.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment right away.