You want to be courteous when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/customers are talking about. 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 pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod in understanding as if you heard everything.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed lots of the conversation, and you’re straining to catch up. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
Some research shows that situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a major influence on the way a person hears. These factors are relevant, but it can be much more severe for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
There are some tell-tale behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Feeling as if people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what someone was saying
- Not able to hear people talking from behind you
- Constantly needing to ask people to repeat themselves
- Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
- Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
Hearing loss most likely didn’t occur overnight even though it may feel as if it did. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment 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 unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment now.