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

You want to be polite when you are talking to friends. At work, you want to look involved, even enthralled with what your boss/co-worker/clients are saying. You frequently find yourself asking family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you couldn’t hear very well.

You have to move in a little closer when you’re on conference calls. You look closely at body language and facial clues and listen for verbal inflections. 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 what was said. Life at home and projects at work have become unnecessarily overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of progressive hearing loss.

According to some studies, situational factors including environmental acoustics, background noise, contending signals, and environmental awareness have a strong influence on the way a person hears. These factors are relevant, but it can be a lot worse for individuals who have hearing loss.

Here are a few habits to help you figure out whether you are, in truth, convincing yourself that your hearing loss isn’t impacting your social and professional relationships, or whether it’s simply the acoustics in their environment:

  • Constantly having to ask people to repeat what they said
  • Thinking people aren’t talking clearly when all you seem to hear is mumbling
  • Having a hard time hearing what others behind you are saying
  • Pretending to comprehend, only to follow up with others to get what you missed
  • Missing important parts of phone conversations
  • Leaning in during conversations and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear

While it may feel like this snuck up on you in an all-of-a-sudden way, chances are your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight. Acknowledging and seeking out help for hearing loss is something that takes most people at least 7 years.

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

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