In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your boss/co-worker/clients are talking about. With family, you might find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You have to lean 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 that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
Maybe your in denial. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re struggling to catch up. You may not recognize it, but years of progressive 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 influenced by situational variables like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their environment, according to research. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
Here are some habits to help you identify whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss isn’t affecting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Unable to hear others talking behind you
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time undetected. So start by making an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.