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

In conversation with friends, you want to be polite. At work, you want to appear engaged, even enthralled with what your manager/peers/clients are talking about. You regularly find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the discussion that you couldn’t hear very well.

On conference calls you lean in closer. You watch for facial cues, listen for inflection, tune in to body language. You read lips. And if that doesn’t work, you nod as if you heard everything.

Maybe your in denial. Your straining to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You might not realize it, but years of progressive hearing loss can have you feeling cut off and discouraged, making projects at work and life at home needlessly overwhelming.

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

There are certain revealing behaviors that will alert you to whether you’re in denial about how your hearing impairment is affecting your professional life:

  • Not able to hear people talking from behind you
  • Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
  • Feeling like people are mumbling and not talking clearly
  • Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without noticing it
  • Asking people to repeat themselves over and over again
  • Missing important parts of phone conversations

Hearing loss probably didn’t happen overnight even though it could feel as if it did. Acknowledging and seeking out 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. So start by scheduling an appointment right away, and stop fooling yourself, hearing loss is no joke.

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