Do you ever find yourself in conversation and you are having trouble hearing the other person? Perhaps the person’s voice seems too high or low or perhaps it seems they mumble. While this is always a possibility that the person is hard to understand, have you considered the possibility that it could be you have a developing case of hearing loss?
It is often certain sounds, tones and pitches that diminish first as hearing loss presents itself. It may seem exhausting or embarrassing to interrupt the speaker and ask for them to repeat themselves or rephrase, but it is very important to do. Pretending to understand can only add further complications down the line.
Pretending to hear can make things worse
Whether you have hearing loss or not it is common to pretend to hear when you don’t. People don’t want to feel rude by asking them to repeat themselves or don’t want to stop the flow of conversation. It is important to understand that it is the opposite of polite not to ask for clarification when you can’t understand what the other person is saying.
Pretending to understand can make you miss important information, creating social tension and misunderstandings. People may feel like you aren’t listening to them, don’t care or not paying attention. This can create huge rifts in relationships with friends and family. The longer your hearing loss goes untreated the wider the gaps in your relationships grow.
Impact on communication
When you can’t hear your loved ones it can build up into major resentment. In many cases untreated hearing loss can even progress to a point of driving couples who have been together for years towards divorce.
A British study found that marriages in which one partner had severe hearing loss were four times more likely to end their marriage with divorce. While this is alarming there are other areas of life that are affected by pretending to hear.
Impact on Income
Imagine the impact on your professional life when you pretend to hear information from your co-workers and employers without really understanding what they are trying to convey. You most likely will start to miss important details, which will seriously hinder your performance at work. Your co-worker will start to rely on you less and less.
In fact, a study out of the Better Hearing Institute found that hearing loss drastically affected people’s salaries when they lived with untreated hearing loss. Employees with even mild hearing loss earned $14,000 less per year than those with no hearing loss, while those with severe hearing loss, lost about $31,000 less per year than those with healthy hearing. People with untreated hearing loss are also more likely to be skipped over from promotions or more likely to be unemployed completely.
Being open about your condition
There are a lot of stigmas from the past about hearing loss. People fear that being open to themselves and others about their hearing loss will make them seem old and weak. However, this is the opposite of what it actually does.
Being open about your hearing loss empowers you to seek treatment, and ask for accommodations from your friends and family. There are currently 48 million people in the US alone dealing with hearing loss, making it the 3rd most chronic health condition. This is to say that you are not alone! When you choose to speak up about your hearing issues it empowers others to feel comfortable to be open about them as well.
Ask for accommodations for your hearing loss
Take time to explore what exactly helps you hear more clearly. Many times you can ask people to write things out when you are having trouble hearing. Sometimes it is easier to hear in less noisy environments. Sometimes all it takes is asking someone to lower the television or stereo so you can hear.
While most hearing loss is permanent it is very treatable with hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify the sounds around you, making it easier for you to hear the tones that might be making it hard for you to follow conversation in the first place.
Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss
If you are finding that you have to pretend more and more to hear everyday conversation, don’t wait for it to get worse. Make an appointment with us to have your hearing checked. We can diagnose your hearing issues and find the best solution to get you hearing your best again.