Hard to Hear or Hard of Hearing?

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, colleagues, and boss to recognize that you’re fully engaged when you’re at work. With family, you might find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.

On zoom calls you move in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.

Maybe your in denial. You missed lots of what was said, and you’re straining to catch up. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.

The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their setting, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but it can be much worse for people who suffer from hearing loss.

There are certain tell-tale habits that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life:

  • Thinking others aren’t speaking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
  • Missing important parts of phone conversations
  • Requesting that people repeat themselves again and again… and again
  • Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without realizing it
  • Pretending to comprehend, only to later ask others about what was said
  • Unable to hear others talking from behind you

Hearing loss most likely didn’t occur overnight even though it could feel as if it did. Most people wait an average of 7 years before accepting the problem and finding help.

That means if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has probably been going un-addressed and untreated for some time. So start by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.

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