In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. You want your clients, co-workers, and boss to see that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. You often find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe your in denial. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re straining to keep up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how we hear. These factors are always in play, but it can be much more severe for people who have hearing loss.
Here are a few habits to help you identify whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not impacting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it could feel that way. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before accepting the issue and seeking help.
This means if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So begin by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.