You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your boss/co-worker/clients are talking about. You frequently find yourself asking 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 move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re straining to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not recognize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
According to some studies, situational factors such as environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on how we hear. But for people who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
There are some tell-tale habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is impacting your social and professional life:
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
- Leaning in When people are talking and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
Hearing loss most likely didn’t happen overnight even though it might feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.
That means that if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.