In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/co-worker/customers are saying. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of the conversation, and you’re struggling to catch up. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational factors including background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their setting, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but it can be a lot worse for people who have hearing loss.
Here are a few habits to help you identify whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss is not affecting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Unable to hear others talking behind you
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it could feel that way. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the issue and seeking help.
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 kidding yourself and make an appointment now.