You want to be polite when you’re talking with friends. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your boss/colleagues/customers are saying. With family, you might find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, and tune in to body language. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and tasks at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors like environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on how we hear. But for individuals who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
Here are some behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Leaning in during conversations and unconsciously cupping your ear with your hand
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it might feel that way. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
That means that if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment right away.