In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. You want your customers, colleagues, and manager to recognize that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re struggling to catch up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unjustifiably overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how we hear. These factors are relevant, but they can be far more severe for individuals who are suffering from hearing loss.
Look out for these behaviors
There are certain tell-tale habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your social and professional life:
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Not able to hear others talking behind you
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the issue and seeking help.
This means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment right away.