In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your boss/colleagues/clients are talking about. With family, you might find it easier to just 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 for facial cues, listen for inflection, and tune in to body language. 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 catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational variables such as background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their environment, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but they can be far worse for individuals who have hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are some habits to help you identify whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not impacting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment now.