In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your clients, colleagues, and supervisor to see that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re straining to keep up because you missed most of what was said. You might not know it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
Some research shows that situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on how a person hears. These factors are relevant, but they can be a lot more extreme for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are some behaviors to help you identify whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss isn’t affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
- Requesting that repeat themselves again and again… and again
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel that way. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment now.