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

You want to be polite when you’re talking to friends. At work, you want to appear involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/colleagues/customers are saying. With family, you might find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a bit louder, please.

You need to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You attempt to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.

Don’t fool yourself. Your straining to catch up because you missed most of what was said. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling aggravated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.

The ability for a person to hear is influenced by situational factors including background sound, contending signals, room acoustics, and how acquainted they are with their setting, according to research. But for people who suffer from hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.

Here are some habits to help you determine whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing loss is not impacting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:

  • Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what someone was saying
  • Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat themselves
  • Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
  • Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
  • Unable to hear people talking behind you
  • Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it

Hearing loss most likely didn’t happen overnight even though it may feel that way. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most people at least 7 years.

So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can bet that it’s been going on for some time undetected. So begin by making an appointment now, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.

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