You want to be polite when you are talking with friends. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/peers/clients are talking about. With family, you might find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
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 all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors like background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to studies. These factors are relevant, but they can be far more extreme for people who have hearing loss.
Look out for these behaviors
There are some revealing behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment now.