You want to be courteous when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/colleagues/customers are talking about. With family, you might find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re straining to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
According to some studies, situational factors like room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on the way we hear. But for individuals who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Look out for these behaviors
Here are some habits to help you determine 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:
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Unable to hear people talking behind you
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, 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 detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment right away.