In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/customers are talking about. You regularly find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of the conversation, and you’re struggling to keep up. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
According to some studies, situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on the way we hear. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are some habits to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment isn’t affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Leaning in during conversations and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel that way. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before accepting the issue and seeking help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment right away.