You want to be courteous when you’re talking with friends. You want your clients, colleagues, and supervisor to see that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. With family, you might find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a little 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 none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. 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 unnecessarily difficult.
According to some studies, situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on the way a person hears. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Look out for these behaviors
Here are a few behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not affecting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Not able to hear people talking behind you
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and seeking help.
That means that if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has probably been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment right away.