In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/co-worker/customers are talking about. You often find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational variables including background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their setting, according to research. These factors are always in play, but they can be much worse for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
There are some revealing habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
This means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Start by scheduling an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.