Woman leans into zoom call because she is having trouble hearing.

You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your supervisor/colleagues/customers are talking about. With family, you may find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.

You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You watch for facial cues, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.

Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to keep up. You may not know it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.

The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational variables like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their surroundings, according to research. These factors are always in play, but it can be much more severe for individuals who have hearing loss.

There are some revealing behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your social and professional life:

  • Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
  • Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
  • Thinking people aren’t speaking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
  • Not able to hear people talking from behind you
  • Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what someone was saying
  • Finding it harder to hear phone conversations

While it may feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the problem and finding help.

This means if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment right away.

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