In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. You want your clients, co-workers, and boss to recognize that you’re completely engaged when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself needing 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 need to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re struggling to keep up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors like environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on the way we hear. But for individuals who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
There are some revealing habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is impacting your social and professional life:
- Leaning in during conversations and unconsciously cupping your hand over your ear
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what they were saying
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Finding it harder to hear phone conversations
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel as if it did. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
This means that if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Begin by scheduling an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.