Woman leans into zoom call because she is having trouble hearing.

You want to be polite when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/colleagues/clients are talking about. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.

On zoom calls you move in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.

Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to catch up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.

The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational variables like background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to research. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.

There are certain tell-tale behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your professional life:

  • Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
  • Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
  • Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what someone was saying
  • Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
  • Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
  • Missing important parts of phone conversations

While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.

This means if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So begin by making an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.

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