You want to be courteous when you are talking with friends. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/colleagues/clients are talking about. With family, you might find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to catch up because you missed most of what was said. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational variables such as background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their environment, according to research. These factors are relevant, but it can be a lot more severe for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
There are some tell-tale habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life:
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
While it may feel like this crept up on you in an all-of-a-sudden way, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Most people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the issue and finding help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment right away.