Woman leans into zoom call because she is having trouble hearing.

You want to be polite when you are talking to friends. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your manager/co-worker/clients are saying. You frequently find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.

On conference calls you move in closer. You look 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 keep up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.

The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors like background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their setting, according to studies. But for people who suffer from hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.

Here are some behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not affecting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:

  • Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
  • Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
  • Constantly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
  • Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
  • Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what someone was saying
  • Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations

While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely 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 if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.

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