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

In conversation with friends, you like to be courteous. You want your clients, co-workers, and supervisor to recognize that you’re completely involved when you’re at work. You often find yourself needing family to repeat themselves because it was easier to tune out parts of the conversation that you weren’t able to hear very well.

You have to move 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 that doesn’t work, 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. Life at home and projects at work have become unjustifiably overwhelming and you are feeling frustrated and isolated due to years of cumulative hearing loss.

The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational factors like background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their setting, according to research. These factors are relevant, but it can be far more extreme for people who suffer from hearing loss.

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

  • Repeatedly needing to ask people to repeat what they said
  • Missing what people are saying when on phone conversations
  • Leaning in When people are talking and instinctively cupping your hand over your ear
  • Feeling as if people are mumbling and not talking clearly
  • Pretending to understand, only to follow up with others to get about what was said
  • Having a hard time hearing what people behind you are saying

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

So if you’re noticing 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 fooling yourself and make an appointment right away.

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