You want to be polite when you are talking to friends. You want your customers, co-workers, and manager to see that you’re completely involved when you’re at work. You often find yourself asking 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 closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if none of that works, you nod in understanding as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re struggling to catch up. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.
According to some studies, situational factors including room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on the way a person hears. These factors are relevant, but it can be far more extreme for individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
There are some tell-tale habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your ear with your hand
- Pretending to understand, only to later ask others about what was said
- Unable to hear others talking behind you
- Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Thinking people 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. Most people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the issue and finding help.
This means if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. So begin by making an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.