In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your customers, colleagues, and boss to see that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier 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 need 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 read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot 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 frustrated, making projects at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors like background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to research. These factors are relevant, but they can be far worse for people who suffer from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
There are certain tell-tale habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your social and professional life:
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others about what was said
- Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
- Unable to hear people talking behind you
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it might feel that way. Most people wait 7 years on average before accepting the problem and seeking help.
This means that if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Begin by making an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.