In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your clients, co-workers, and manager to see that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial clues 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 you’re in denial. You’re struggling to keep up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and tasks at work have become unjustifiably overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how we hear. But for individuals who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
There are certain tell-tale behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life:
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
- Requesting that repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Unable to hear people talking from behind you
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel as if it did. Most people wait 7 years on average before accepting the issue and seeking help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Start by making an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.