In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. You want your customers, colleagues, and manager to see that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. With family, you might find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to catch up because you missed most of what was said. You may not recognize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
Some research shows that situational factors like environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on how a person hears. These factors are always in play, but it can be much more severe for people who suffer from hearing loss.
There are certain revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your social and professional life:
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat themselves
Hearing loss probably didn’t occur overnight even though it may feel that way. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
This means if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment right away.