You want to be polite when you’re talking with friends. You want your clients, colleagues, and manager to see that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
You need to move in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You watch for facial cues, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not realize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors including background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to research. But for individuals who suffer from hearing loss these factors are made even more difficult.
There are certain revealing behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Asking people to repeat themselves again and again… and again
- Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what someone was saying
Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel that way. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing loss is something that takes most individuals 7 years or more.
So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been occurring for some time undetected. So start by making an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.