You want to be polite when you’re talking to friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and boss to recognize that you’re completely involved when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You look closely at body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re straining to keep up. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational variables such as background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their setting, according to research. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Leaning in during conversations and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Unable to hear others talking from behind you
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what they were saying
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment right away.