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

You want to be courteous when you are talking with friends. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your manager/co-worker/customers are talking about. You regularly find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was less difficult to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.

On conference calls you move in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You read lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.

Maybe your in denial. Your struggling to keep up because you missed most of what was said. You may not realize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and frustrated, making tasks at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.

The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational variables like background noise, contending signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their surroundings, according to studies. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more difficult.

Here are a few behaviors to help you identify whether you are, in fact, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss is not impacting your professional and social interactions, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:

  • Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person who is speaking without noticing it
  • Unable to hear others talking from behind you
  • Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
  • Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
  • Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
  • Constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves

While it might feel like this crept up on you suddenly, chances are your hearing impairment didn’t happen overnight. Acknowledging and getting help for hearing impairment is something that takes most individuals at least 7 years.

That means if your hearing loss is an issue now, it has most likely been going un-addressed and neglected for some time. Hearing loss is no joke so stop fooling yourself and schedule an appointment right away.

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