In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. You want your customers, colleagues, and boss to see that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. You frequently find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. 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 keep up. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors such as environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a major influence on the way we hear. These factors are relevant, but it can be a lot worse for individuals who are suffering from hearing loss.
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not impacting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Requesting that people repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Unable to hear others talking from behind you
While it may feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing impairment 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 detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment right away.