In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. You want your customers, co-workers, and supervisor to recognize that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. 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.
You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look closely at body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not realize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.
Some research shows that situational factors like environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how we hear. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Watch out for these behaviors
There are certain tell-tale behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your social and professional life:
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Not able to hear others talking from behind you
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel that way. Most people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging 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 now.