Woman leans into zoom call because she is having trouble hearing.

You want to be polite when you are talking with friends. You want your customers, co-workers, and boss to recognize that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier to simply tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a little louder, please.

On conference calls you move in closer. You look closely at body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.

Maybe your in denial. Your straining to keep up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not know it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily difficult.

The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational factors including background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but it can be far more extreme for individuals who are suffering from hearing loss.

Here are a few habits to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing impairment is not impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:

  • Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what someone was saying
  • Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
  • Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
  • Having a difficult time hearing what people behind you are saying
  • Feeling like people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
  • Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat themselves

Hearing loss probably didn’t occur overnight even though it may feel that way. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before accepting the problem and finding help.

This means if your hearing loss is a problem now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So begin by scheduling an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.

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