You want to be polite when you are talking with friends. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your manager/colleagues/customers are talking about. You frequently find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational factors like background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their surroundings, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but it can be much worse for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Here are some habits to help you determine whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what someone was saying
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
- Leaning in during conversations and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.