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

In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your customers, colleagues, and manager to see that you’re totally involved when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.

On zoom calls you move in closer. You watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.

Maybe your in denial. Your struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.

The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational factors including background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their surroundings, according to research. But for people who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.

There are certain tell-tale behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your professional life:

  • Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying
  • Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
  • Feeling like people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
  • Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
  • Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat what they said
  • Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed

Hearing loss most likely didn’t happen overnight even though it could feel as if it did. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.

This means if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So begin by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.

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