If you have experienced changes in your hearing, and the condition conditions to worsen, there may be the chance that you do not want anyone else to find out, not even your loved ones. After all, admitting you have hearing loss or, heaven forbid, actually wearing hearing aids, will make you seem so much older, right? Wrong! Pretending to hear is one of the worst things you can do for your hearing health and your relationships.
Have you ever been in a crowded restaurant with your family or friends? Someone starts talking to you, but with all the background noise it’s hard to hear what they’re saying. You ask them to repeat themselves, but you still can’t understand what they’re saying. What do you do? They’re obviously excited to be telling you about whatever it is, and you don’t want to make them feel bad, so you just smile and nod. You pretend you can hear, and give up on straining to catch what they’re saying to you.
Then it happens. They ask you a question! You don’t know what they’ve been talking about, and certainly didn’t hear the question. What happens next? You know that sinking feeling in your gut, and the feeling of embarrassment as you try to answer a question you didn’t hear as vaguely as possible so they won’t realize you didn’t understand a word they’ve said. They look confused. You know you’ve made another mistake and your face flushes. You silently promise yourself you won’t come to this restaurant again, no matter who invites you.
It should come as no surprise that untreated hearing loss often leads to social isolation, as people who struggle to hear in social settings prefer to avoid them.
When you pretend to hear, you may inadvertently back yourself into a corner. No matter which way you go, you’re in for some embarrassment when your friends find out you didn’t understand them, and haven’t been hearing anything clearly all evening. Pretending among your friends is one thing, but have you ever pretended at work? What if you haven’t understood what your boss has told you to do, or didn’t catch the explanation your colleague gave you? If you don’t admit you couldn’t understand and make sure you’re clear on the project, you’re in danger of making a big mistake that could cost you a lot of respect, or maybe even your job.
Pretending to hear might seem like a good idea in the moment, and help you save face in the short term, but the reality is that it has a negative impact on your hearing and your overall health. It won’t be long before you don’t go out with your friends, and start to isolate yourself. You’ll feel stressed and lonely, and may make a lot of mistakes in both your personal and professional life. With social isolation comes cognitive decline, and further hearing loss. This is a vicious cycle that will get you into trouble a lot sooner than you think.
The truth is, not being able to hear, answering inappropriately, or asking someone to repeat themselves 10 times over makes you look old. Wearing a nearly invisible, sleek hearing aid tucked behind your ear or resting snugly in your ear canal is far less noticeable. In fact, your friends probably won’t even notice unless you point it out to them. Which you just might want to do once you realize what this amazing little device is doing for you. As you adjusting to your new device, be patient with yourself and ask your loved ones for support if you need it. Your friends will have no problem making accommodations for you. They want you to hear too!
Are you convinced yet? It’s time to put your hearing health first, and make an appointment for a hearing test. They’re quick, easy, and painless, and will include a discussion with one of our hearing professionals to review your health, a physical exam to look for blockages or damage to your ears, and a hearing exam to see how well you’re hearing in quiet and in noise.
Break the dangerous cycle of pretending to hear by contacting us at AZ Balance & Hearing Aids today!