In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/clients are saying. With family, you may find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You watch for facial cues, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. 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 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 aggravated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational variables like background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to studies. But for individuals who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment isn’t affecting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
Hearing loss most likely didn’t happen overnight even though it might feel that way. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and seeking help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment now.