You want to be courteous when you are talking to friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and supervisor to see that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.
You have to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re struggling to catch up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational factors including background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their surroundings, according to studies. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more difficult.
Here are some habits to help you determine whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment is not affecting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Leaning in When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your ear with your hand
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others what you missed
- Not able to hear people talking from behind you
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
That means if your hearing loss is problematic now, it has probably been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So begin by scheduling an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.