In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your clients, colleagues, and manager to recognize that you’re totally involved when you’re at work. You frequently find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to catch up. You might not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational factors such as background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their surroundings, according to research. These factors are relevant, but they can be a lot more extreme for individuals who have hearing loss.
Look out for these behaviors
There are some revealing habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life:
- Not able to hear people talking from behind you
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Start by making an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.