You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/colleagues/customers are talking about. You often find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.
You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.
Maybe your in denial. Your straining to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational factors like background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their setting, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but it can be much more extreme for people who have hearing loss.
Here are some behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss is not impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what someone was saying
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Not able to hear others talking from behind you
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
While it may feel like this snuck up on you in an all-of-a-sudden way, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time undetected. So start by making an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.