In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/colleagues/customers are saying. You frequently find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
On zoom calls you move 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 your in denial. You missed lots of the conversation, and you’re struggling to catch up. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors like background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their surroundings, according to research. These factors are relevant, but it can be much more severe for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Here are some habits to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment isn’t affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what someone was saying
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
Hearing loss most likely didn’t happen overnight even though it might feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
This means if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment right away.