You want to be courteous when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/co-worker/customers are saying. You often find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult 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 look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard everything.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. You may not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
Some research shows that situational factors such as environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on the way a person hears. These factors are always in play, but they can be a lot worse for individuals who are suffering from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
There are some tell-tale behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is impacting your social and professional life:
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
While it may feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
That means that if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment now.