In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your supervisor/colleagues/clients are talking about. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe your in denial. Your struggling to catch up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on how we hear. These factors are always in play, but it can be far worse for people who have hearing loss.
There are certain tell-tale habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is impacting your professional life:
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Requesting that people repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others what you missed
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
While it may feel like this crept up on you in an all-of-a-sudden way, chances are your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment now.