In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/clients are saying. You often find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re straining to catch up. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors like environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how a person hears. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are some behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not affecting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel as if it did. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.
This means that if your hearing loss is a problem 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 now.