Many people develop adaptive behaviors—or habits—to help compensate for the progression of their hearing loss in social settings. However, they may not even realize they’re doing it! Learn more about the two most common early social signs of hearing loss.
- Social bluffing: Those with hearing loss often practice "social bluffing," or pretending to hear. They give cues to appear as if they have an understanding of what was said. For example, a person with hearing loss may smile and nod along or respond with vague expressions such as "that’s interesting" or "uh-huh." They often take these cues from other people’s reactions in the room, such as laughing along if they notice other people laughing.
- Lip-reading and body language: Another common but subtle hearing loss behavior is learning to read a person’s lips—as well as facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language—to fill in the gaps. Those with hearing loss may rely on these visual cues to clarify what was said and may turn to face the speaker more directly to observe them better.