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

In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. You want your customers, colleagues, and boss to see that you’re fully involved when you’re at work. With family, you might find it less difficult to just tune out the conversation and ask the person next to you to fill in what you missed, just a little louder, please.

You have 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 try to read people’s lips. And if none of that works, you nod as if you heard every word.

Don’t fool yourself. You missed a lot of the conversation, and you’re straining to keep up. Life at home and tasks at work have become unjustifiably difficult and you are feeling frustrated and cut off due to years of cumulative hearing loss.

According to some studies, situational factors like environmental acoustics, background noise, competing signals, and situational awareness have a strong influence on the way a person hears. But for individuals who have hearing loss these factors are made even more challenging.

There are some revealing behaviors that will raise your awareness of whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is impacting your social and professional life:

  • Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
  • Not able to hear others talking from behind you
  • Cupping your ear with your hand or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
  • Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
  • Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly

Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it might feel as if it did. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most people at least 7 years.

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

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