You want to be polite when you are talking to friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and supervisor to see that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. With family, you might find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on how a person hears. But for people who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are some habits to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not impacting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Unable to hear others talking from behind you
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Leaning in When people are talking and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Requesting that repeat themselves over and over again
While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. Begin by making an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.