In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/co-worker/clients are talking about. You regularly find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to keep up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors like background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their surroundings, according to studies. These factors are relevant, but they can be a lot worse for people who have hearing loss.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are some habits to help you identify whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
- Not able to hear people talking from behind you
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what they were saying
While it might feel like this crept 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 at least 7 years.
That 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 fooling yourself and make an appointment now.