In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/clients are talking about. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
You need to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe your in denial. You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re straining to catch up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how a person hears. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
There are some tell-tale habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is impacting your social and professional life:
- Leaning in When people are talking and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Requesting that people repeat themselves over and over again
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
Hearing loss most likely didn’t occur overnight even though it might feel that way. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before accepting the problem and seeking help.
That means if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So start by making an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.