In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your clients, colleagues, and boss to see that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. You frequently 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.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, and tune in to body language. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re straining to keep 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 cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on how a person hears. These factors are always in play, but they can be a lot worse for people who suffer from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
Here are some habits to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss is not affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Unable to hear people talking behind you
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen 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.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Start by scheduling an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.