You want to be polite when you are talking with friends. You want your clients, colleagues, and supervisor to recognize that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed a lot of what was said, and you’re straining to keep up. You may not recognize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.
Some research shows that situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on the way we hear. But for people who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Look out for these behaviors
There are certain revealing habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
- Requesting that repeat themselves over and over again
- Not able to hear people talking behind you
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
This means that if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has probably been going unaddressed and neglected for some time. Start by scheduling an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.