In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. You want your clients, co-workers, and manager to see that you’re completely involved 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.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on how a person hears. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
Here are a few behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment isn’t impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Not able to hear people talking behind you
- Asking others what you missed after pretending to hear what someone was saying
- Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
Hearing loss most likely didn’t occur overnight even though it might feel that way. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most people at least 7 years.
That means if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has probably been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment now.