In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your clients, co-workers, and manager to see that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. You often find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.
You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re straining to keep up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unjustifiably overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational variables like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their setting, according to research. These factors are always in play, but it can be a lot more extreme for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
There are some revealing habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your social and professional life:
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others what you missed
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
Hearing loss most likely didn’t occur overnight even though it could feel as if it did. Most people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and seeking help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time undetected. So start by scheduling an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.