You want to be courteous when you are talking with friends. You want your customers, colleagues, and manager to recognize that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. You often find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.
On zoom calls you move in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.
Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not realize it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.
According to some studies, situational factors such as room acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on how a person hears. These factors are relevant, but it can be far worse 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 impairment is affecting your professional life:
- Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
- Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
- Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat what they said
- Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
- Finding it harder to hear over the phone
- Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others about what was said
Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it could feel as if it did. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the problem and finding help.
This means if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So begin by scheduling an appointment now, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.