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

You want to be polite when you are talking to friends. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your supervisor/peers/clients are talking about. You frequently find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.

You have to lean in a little closer when you’re on zoom calls. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You try to read people’s lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard every word.

Maybe your in denial. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re straining to catch up. You might not know it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making tasks at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.

Some research shows that situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on how we hear. But for people who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.

There are certain revealing habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is impacting your social and professional life:

  • Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
  • Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
  • Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what someone was saying
  • Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
  • Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
  • Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again

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

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

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