In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/customers are saying. With family, you may 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.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You attempt to read people’s 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 tasks at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how we hear. These factors are always in play, but they can be much more severe for people who suffer from hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
Here are some habits to help you determine whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment isn’t impacting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others what you missed
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Most people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the problem and finding help.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been occurring for some time undetected. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment right away.