You want to be polite when you’re talking to friends. You want your customers, colleagues, and boss to recognize that you’re totally involved when you’re at work. You regularly find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
You have to lean 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 catch up because you missed most of what was said. You may not recognize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.
Some research shows that situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on how a person hears. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.
There are certain tell-tale habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:
- Thinking others aren’t talking clearly when all you can hear is mumbling
- Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
- Not able to hear others talking from behind you
- Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
- Missing important parts of phone conversations
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
While it might feel like this snuck up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before accepting the problem and seeking help.
So if you’re noticing 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 schedule an appointment right away.