You want to be polite when you are talking with friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and supervisor to recognize that you’re completely involved when you’re at work. You often find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You watch for facial cues, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to catch up because you missed most of what was said. You might not recognize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational factors such as background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their environment, according to research. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
Here are a few habits to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing loss isn’t impacting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:
- Unable to hear others talking behind you
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what someone was saying
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel that way. Most people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the issue and finding help.
This means if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. So start by making an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.