You want to be polite when you’re talking with friends. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/co-worker/customers are saying. With family, you may find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Maybe your in denial. Your straining to keep 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 cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.
The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their environment, according to research. These factors are relevant, but it can be much worse for individuals who have hearing loss.
There are certain revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your professional life:
- Not able to hear people talking behind you
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. The majority of people wait an average of 7 years before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
That means if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has probably been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So begin by making an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.