In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. You want your clients, co-workers, and manager to recognize that you’re totally involved when you’re at work. You frequently find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the discussion that you weren’t able to hear very well.
You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.
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 cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on the way a person hears. These factors are always in play, but it can be a lot more extreme for people who suffer from hearing loss.
Here are a few habits to help you identify whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not affecting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Not able to hear others talking behind you
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Asking others what was said after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Requesting that people repeat themselves over and over again
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
While it may feel like this snuck up on you in an all-of-a-sudden way, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people 7 years or more.
That means if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. So start by making an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.