In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. At work, you want to look engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/peers/clients are saying. With family, you might find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You watch for facial hints, listen for inflection, and pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe you’re in denial. You’re straining to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not know it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.
Some research shows that situational factors like room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on the way we hear. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss, these factors are made even more challenging.
Some hearing loss behaviors to look out for
There are certain 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 When people are talking and unintentionally cupping your hand over your ear
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
- Requesting that repeat themselves over and over again
- Unable to hear others talking behind you
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others what you missed
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it could feel as if it did. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.
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 fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.