In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. You want your clients, colleagues, and manager to see that you’re totally involved when you’re at work. With family, you may find it less difficult to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not recognize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
Some research shows that situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on the way we hear. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Look out for these behaviors
There are certain revealing habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your professional life:
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
- Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
While it may feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Most people wait 7 years on average before accepting the issue and seeking help.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Begin by scheduling an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.