You want to be courteous when you’re talking with friends. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your manager/co-worker/customers are saying. With family, you may find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, and tune in to body language. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re struggling to catch up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational variables including background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their surroundings, according to studies. These factors are relevant, but they can be much worse for people who suffer from hearing loss.
Watch out for these behaviors
There are some revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life:
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Unable to hear others talking behind you
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Leaning in during conversations and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before accepting the problem and finding help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Start by scheduling an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.