You want to be polite when you are talking to friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and supervisor to recognize that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues 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’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not realize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational factors such as background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their setting, according to research. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Look out for these behaviors
Here are some habits to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not impacting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Requesting that repeat themselves again and again… and again
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
This means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment now.