In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. You want your customers, colleagues, and boss 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 weren’t able to hear very well.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational factors like background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their environment, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but it can be a lot more severe for people who suffer from hearing loss.
Here are a few behaviors to help you identify whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it might feel as if it did. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the issue and seeking help.
This 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 fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.