In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. You want your clients, co-workers, and supervisor to recognize that you’re totally involved when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier 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 look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You’re struggling to keep up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors such as background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their environment, according to research. These factors are always in play, but they can be a lot more extreme for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are some behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment isn’t affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
Hearing loss most likely didn’t take place overnight even though it might feel as if it did. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Start by scheduling an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.