Have you been having trouble hearing people around you recently? It’s all too common to blame it on the person you are speaking to – believing that they need to speak more clearly or that they mumble. However, it’s important to admit the reality. There is a good chance that you have hearing loss.
Hearing loss is a common issue affecting 48 million people in the US alone. As we age it becomes even more common, affecting one in three over the age of 65 and half of those 75 and older. You may have hearing loss which has been developing for years and not even know it. This is because hearing loss often starts subtly and develops gradually over time. You may struggle to hear people and grow tired of asking them to repeat themselves. This is often when people simply pretend to hear what others are saying. However, we are here to tell you that pretending to hear just doesn’t help!
Faking it Can Hurt
hey say fake it till you make it but hearing loss doesn’t work like that. Hearing loss is in 90 percent of instances a permanent condition. This means that it’s not going away anytime unless you address it head on. One of the most common signs of hearing loss is if you notice that you have to ask people to repeat themselves all too often. This can feel exhausting and even embarrassing. Every now and then is no big deal but as misunderstandings become the normal instead of the exception, it’s common for people to pretend to hear.
When you pretend to hear the speaker simply continues on their train of conversation. You may find yourself completely lost. This can start to feel completely stressful as you continue on with your bluff. You may respond in appropriately or not at all giving people the impression that you aren’t paying attention, seem disinterested and don’t care what they have to say.
Impact on Your Relationships
All friendships and relationships are built on a platform of communication. When communication breaks down it’s all too common for relationships to become strained. This is true for new connections just as much as relationships with friends and family that you’ve maintained for years. You may find that your friends and family don’t seem to reach out as often and even connections with those closest to you such as your significant other can become muddled in resentment over miscommunications and confusion.
Impact on your Professional Success
Personal relationships may suffer but so will professional success. Your success in your profession whether it’s an office job, construction, manufacturing, education or customer service all relies on healthy communication. You may miss important information and start to make frequent mistakes by pretending to hear. Your co-workers and bosses may begin to notice and rely on you less for important tasks and jobs. It also quickly becomes a safety issue, especially for those who work manual labor jobs where it’s important to be alert and prepared for an emergency. Hearing a warning sound may make all the difference between a catastrophe in the workplace and being alert enough to avoid the accident all together.
Be Honest with Others and Yourself
Next time you think about pretending to hear, stop and be honest with the person you are speaking to. You might be surprised how far it can get you. Let them know you are having trouble hearing them and let them know what they could do to help you hear better. It may be as simple as maintaining eye contact or asking them to speak a bit slower. These small modifications in communication can make a big difference. And while you are at it, try being honest with yourself about hearing loss. If it’s become difficult to follow conversations, know that it doesn’t have to be that way – but it requires you to act sooner than later.
Treating a Hearing Loss
While hearing loss is most often irreversible it can be addressed using hearing aids. These amazing electronic devices sit in or near the ear and can be digitally programed to amplify just the sounds you need to hear. If you are tired of pretending, the first step is to schedule a hearing exam with us today.