In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. You want your customers, co-workers, and supervisor to recognize that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You look closely at body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard everything.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re straining to catch up. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on how we hear. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss these factors are made even more difficult.
There are some revealing behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your social and professional life:
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others what you missed
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Not able to hear people talking from behind you
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
- Requesting that people repeat themselves over and over again
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it might feel as if it did. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals 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 undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment right away.