In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your customers, co-workers, and supervisor to see that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. With family, you might find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re struggling to keep up because you missed most of what was said. You might not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational variables like background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their surroundings, according to research. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are some behaviors to help you identify whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not impacting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
- Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
- Leaning in during conversations and unconsciously cupping your ear with your hand
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. Most people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and seeking help.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Start by making an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.