You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. You want your clients, colleagues, and manager to see that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of the conversation, and you’re struggling to keep up. You may not recognize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational factors like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their surroundings, according to studies. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
Here are a few behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it could feel as if it did. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Start by making an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.