You want to be polite when you are talking to friends. You want your clients, colleagues, and manager to see that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. You frequently find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.
You have to lean 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 read 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 the conversation. Life at home and tasks at work have become unjustifiably overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational variables such as background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their setting, according to research. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
Here are a few habits to help you determine whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it could feel that way. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
That means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Start by making an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.