In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your customers, colleagues, and boss to see that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. You often 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.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial.
You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re straining to keep up. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors such as background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their setting, according to research. These factors are relevant, but it can be a lot worse for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Here are a few habits to help you determine whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing loss isn’t affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before accepting the problem and seeking help.
This means if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and make an appointment now.