You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your supervisor/peers/customers are talking about. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You look closely at body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational factors including background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their setting, according to research. These factors are always in play, but they can be far worse for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Watch out for these behaviors
There are certain revealing behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your social and professional life:
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Unable to hear people talking from behind you
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
This means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment right away.