Hard of Hearing or Hard to Hear?

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

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

On conference calls you move in closer. You look for facial hints, listen for inflection, pay close attention to body language. You read lips. And if all else fails – you fake it.

Don’t fool yourself. Your struggling to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. Life at home and tasks at work have become unnecessarily difficult and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.

The ability for someone to hear is influenced by situational variables like background noise, competing signals, room acoustics, and how comfortable they are with their surroundings, according to studies. These factors are relevant, but it can be far worse for people who have hearing loss.

There are certain tell-tale habits that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing loss is affecting your professional life:

  • Repeatedly having to ask people to repeat what they said
  • Asking others what you missed after pretending you heard what someone was saying
  • Finding it more difficult to hear phone conversations
  • Leaning in When people are talking and unconsciously cupping your ear with your hand
  • Having a difficult time hearing what others behind you are saying
  • Feeling like people are mumbling and not speaking clearly

Hearing loss most likely didn’t occur overnight even though it might feel that way. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before accepting the problem and finding help.

So if you’re detecting symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been going on for some time unnoticed. Hearing loss is no joke so stop kidding yourself and make an appointment right away.