In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/clients are saying. You regularly find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look closely at body language and facial clues 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. Life at home and tasks at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational variables such as background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their environment, according to research. These factors are always in play, but they can be much more severe for individuals who have hearing loss.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss isn’t affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in the environment:
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
- Unable to hear people talking behind you
- Leaning in during conversations and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what they were saying
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
Hearing loss probably didn’t occur overnight even though it may feel that way. Most people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the issue and seeking help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. Begin by making an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.