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

You want to be polite when you’re talking with friends. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your boss/co-worker/customers are saying. With family, you might 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 zoom calls you move in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.

Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling 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 frustrated and cut off due to years of progressive hearing loss.

The ability for someone to hear is impacted by situational factors such as background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their surroundings, according to research. But for people who suffer from hearing loss these factors are made even more difficult.

Here are some habits to help you identify whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing impairment isn’t impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:

  • Finding it harder to hear over the phone
  • Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves
  • Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
  • Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
  • Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
  • Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get about what was said

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

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

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