You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/peers/clients are talking about. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.
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 attempt to read people’s lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard everything.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to catch up. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational factors such as background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their environment, according to research. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more difficult.
Here are a few behaviors to help you identify whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss isn’t impacting your social and professional interactions, 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
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Requesting that people repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
Hearing loss most likely didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel as if it did. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. So start by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.