You want to be courteous when you are talking with friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and supervisor to recognize that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. With family, you might find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to keep up because you missed most of what was said. You may not know it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational variables like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their environment, according to research. These factors are relevant, but they can be a lot worse for people who have hearing loss.
Watch out for these behaviors
Here are some behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss 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 speaking clearly
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Requesting that repeat themselves over and over again
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel as if it did. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
That means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Begin by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.