You want to be polite when you’re talking to friends. You want your customers, colleagues, and manager to recognize that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on the way a person hears. These factors are always in play, but it can be a lot worse for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
There are certain revealing habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your social and professional life:
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Unable to hear people talking from behind you
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what someone was saying
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
While it might feel like this crept up on you in an all-of-a-sudden way, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. So start by scheduling an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.