Hearing is an integral part of your life, and when you notice you may not be hearing as well as you used to, it could present a number of challenges. Or, perhaps, hearing loss has come on so gradually that you don’t notice until friends or family start commenting that you need the TV louder than they do or you can’t hear the server at the restaurant.
With two-thirds of people over the age of 65 experience some degree of hearing loss, it is important to keep tabs on your hearing abilities. Age-related hearing loss is among the most common types, and it occurs naturally with the process of aging. The best way to stay on the path to good hearing health is to get a hearing evaluation at Desert Valley Audiology. Perhaps your hearing fears are unfounded, that’s great! Now you have a baseline to keep track of what’s happening with your hearing. If you could benefit from the use of hearing aids, our team is ready to help you with that.
It is important to keep in mind that if you have experienced changes in your hearing, pretending you can hear isn’t going to help and could cause problems in the short and long term.
Struggles with Hearing & Communication
Imagine this scenario: you are at a restaurant or a party, and someone strikes up a conversation with you. The background noise isn’t that loud, but it’s loud enough that you can’t quite hear. You wing it, you get the name of the person, you are sort of figuring out what they are saying. You nod, act interested and then they ask a question. You ask them to repeat it and that works this time. But you’ve asked them to repeat themselves several times and that look of irritation crosses their face for a minute. You answer a question with a “yes?” And there is that look again. It wasn’t a yes or no question and they excuse themselves with an excuse about finding the restroom and never come back.
It’s no surprise that people with untreated hearing loss experience greater instances of social withdrawal and struggle with depression and anxiety. Speech recognition and communication are both challenging with untreated hearing loss.
Why Do We Pretend to Hear?
We pretend to hear for a variety of reasons. Some of us just don’t want to interrupt the conversation and ask what was just said because that would be admitting we have a hearing problem. Or, it could be we just don’t want to deal with the hearing issues. Or, maybe we just don’t know how to say we have some hearing problems. In a group setting, it may seem like a burden to keep asking for something to be repeated.
Not interrupting is a factor of our culture. Even hearing individuals are reluctant to interrupt. You know, you’ve been somewhere and someone told a joke or was relating a story. They leave and the person you are with says, “I have no idea what they were talking about.” But they didn’t interrupt and say that.
If you didn’t get the joke, that’s relatively harmless. But what if you are on a conference call at work and you pretend you just heard and understood a set of instructions that’s pretty important? Or, maybe you are at the store and the employee is explaining to you exactly how to use the pesticide you are buying and you are only hearing half of what they are saying. That could be a problem.
Pretending is a Bad Habit
You miss a lot when you pretend to hear and it can affect your work and your relationships, so there’s a couple of things you can do. People have trouble talking about hearing loss, as they think others will think less of them and why? Do people think less of you if you have contact lenses or glasses? Of course not. But for some reason, hearing loss still carries a bit of a stigma and it shouldn’t.
There’s nothing wrong with telling people that you have difficulty hearing, sitting closer to a speaker at a conference, and turning up the volume on your phone so you can hear better during the conference call. You can tell the person you are talking to at the party or conference or restaurant that you are hard of hearing and you either need to move to a quieter spot or they need to speak up.
The best thing to do, however, is to schedule a hearing test as the first step to improving your hearing abilities.
Visit Us at Desert Valley Audiology
More than 48 million Americans have hearing loss, yet only one in four of those gets hearing devices. Meanwhile, hearing loss has an impact on all aspects of your life including your physical health. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to hypertension, strokes, higher incidence of falls, longer hospital stays, depression, isolation and early on-set dementia. Why risk all that? Call Desert Valley today and get a hearing evaluation. We will put you on a course for better hearing! There’s no need to pretend with hearing treatment – now, you can enjoy all those things you’ve been missing!