You want to be polite when you’re talking to friends. You want your clients, co-workers, and supervisor to see that you’re totally engaged when you’re at work. With family, you might find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re straining to catch up. You might not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly difficult.
According to some studies, situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on how we hear. But for individuals who have hearing loss, these factors are made even more difficult.
Some hearing loss behaviors to watch out for
Here are some behaviors to help you figure out whether you are, in fact, convincing yourself that your hearing loss isn’t affecting your social and professional interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in the environment:
- Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel that way. 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 problematic now, it has most likely been going unaddressed and untreated for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and schedule an appointment now.