In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your manager/co-worker/customers are saying. With family, you may find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe your in denial. Your straining to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors including background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to research. But for people who suffer from hearing loss these factors are made even more difficult.
Here are some habits to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others about what was said
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
Hearing loss probably didn’t occur overnight even though it may feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most people 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. So begin by making an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.