You want to be polite when you are talking to friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and manager to see that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. You frequently find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look closely at body language and facial cues 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.
Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not recognize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors such as background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their environment, according to studies. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
There are some tell-tale behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life:
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- 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 people behind you are saying
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Requesting that people repeat themselves over and over again
Hearing loss most likely didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel as if it did. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
That means if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So begin by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.