In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/co-worker/clients are talking about. You often 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 watch for facial cues, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe your in denial. Your straining to keep up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors such as environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on how 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 tell-tale habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your social and professional life:
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others what you missed
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
Hearing loss probably didn’t occur overnight even though it might feel as if it did. Most people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
That means if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. So begin by making an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.