You want to be courteous when you’re talking to friends. You want your clients, colleagues, and supervisor to recognize that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re struggling to catch up. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational variables including background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to studies. But for people who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
Here are some habits to help you identify whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Unable to hear people talking from behind you
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Leaning in during conversations and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment right away.