You want to be courteous when you’re talking with friends. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/clients are saying. 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 cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational variables such as background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their surroundings, according to research. These factors are always in play, but they can be far more extreme for individuals who are suffering from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
There are some tell-tale behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your professional life:
- Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it might feel that way. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
That means that if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Start by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.