In conversation with friends, you want to be courteous. You want your customers, colleagues, and manager to recognize that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. You often 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.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You look for facial cues, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not know it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
Some research shows that situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how we hear. These factors are relevant, but it can be much worse for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
There are certain revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
While it might feel like this snuck up on you in an all-of-a-sudden way, more than likely your hearing impairment didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time undetected. So begin by making an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.