Can’t Hear Well While You’re Working? You May be Missing More Than You Know

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a second, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Your company is being considered for a job and a number of individuals from your company have gathered on a conference call. All of the various voices get a little jumbled and hard to comprehend. But you’re quite certain you got the gist of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue cranking up the volume. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’ve become fairly good at that.

As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. This is the point where the potential client asks “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””

You panic. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t certain what issue they’re trying to resolve. This is your deal and your boss is depending on you. What do you do?

Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They may think you weren’t paying attention. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.

Individuals go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and cope.

But how is neglected hearing loss actually affecting your work in general? Let’s see.

Lower wages

The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 people utilizing the same approach the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.

People who have neglected hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.

That doesn’t seem fair!

Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. Everything was going excellently until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.

He lost out on a commission of $1000.

The circumstances were misinterpreted. But how do you think this affected his career? How might things have been different if he were using his hearing aids?

Injuries on the job

A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall increases by 300% according to other studies.

And it may come as a shock that individuals with minor hearing loss had the highest danger among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t realize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work

You have so much to offer an employer:

  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Experience
  • Confidence
  • Empathy

Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It may be impacting your job more than you know. Take steps to minimize the impact like:

  • Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
  • Wear your hearing aids while your working every day, all the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even need many of the accommodations.
  • If a job is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be really noisy. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different job. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • Make sure your work area is well lit. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
  • When you’re speaking with people, make certain you look directly at them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
  • Understand that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a good interview. You will most likely need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
  • Asking for a written overview/agenda before a meeting. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but instead goes straight into your ear. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.

Hearing loss at work

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s mild. But getting it treated will often minimize any obstacles you face with untreated hearing impairment. Contact us right away – we can help!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.