You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and manager to see that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You watch for facial cues, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe your in denial. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re struggling to catch up. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on how a person hears. These factors are relevant, but it can be a lot worse for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Here are a few behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing loss isn’t impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what someone was saying
While it might feel like this snuck up on you in an all-of-a-sudden way, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the problem and seeking help.
This means if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So start by making an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.