In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/colleagues/customers are saying. With family, you may find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how a person hears. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are a few habits to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing loss is not affecting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat what they said
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it could feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
This means that if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment now.