In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your clients, co-workers, and manager to see that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. You often find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if none of that works, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not know it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors like background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their surroundings, according to studies. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more difficult.
Here are some behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment isn’t affecting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:
- Not able to hear others talking behind you
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Requesting that people repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
This means if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has probably been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So begin by making an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.