In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. You want your customers, colleagues, and boss to see that you’re completely 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 fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You try to read people’s 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. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors such as background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their surroundings, according to research. These factors are always in play, but they can be a lot more extreme for individuals who have hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
There are certain tell-tale behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what they were saying
While it may feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing loss didn’t happen overnight. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
That means that if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment now.