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You Might be Missing a Lot if You’re Having Difficulty Hearing at Work

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Your company is being looked at for a job and numerous individuals from your business have come together on a conference call. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.

Cranking the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re really good at that.

There comes a point in the conversation where things become particularly hard to hear. This is the point where the potential client says “so exactly how will your company help us solve this?””

You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re trying to resolve. Your boss is counting on you to seal this deal. What can you do?

Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Individuals go through situations like this every day when they are at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.

But how is untreated hearing loss actually affecting your work in general? Let’s find out.

Lower wages

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

They found that people who have neglected hearing loss earn around $12,000 less per year than people who can hear.

Hey, that isn’t fair!

We could dig deep to attempt to figure out what the cause is, but as the example above shows, hearing loss can affect your general performance. Sadly, he couldn’t close the deal. Everything was going excellently until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They decided to go with a company that listens better.

He lost out on a commission of $1000.

The situation was misconstrued. But how do you think this affected his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, imagine how different things might have been.

Injuries on at work

A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other studies.

And people with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.

How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Empathy
  • Confidence
  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Personality

Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is often a factor. You may not even recognize how great an effect on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to lessen that impact:

  • Be certain your work area is brightly lit. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
  • Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really loud. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. That way, it never seems as if you aren’t doing your part.
  • Never neglect wearing your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. If you have your hearing aids in you may not even need many of the accommodations.
  • Face people when you’re talking to them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
  • Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
  • Recognize that during a job interview, you’re not required to disclose that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer can’t ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you might choose to disclose this before the interview.
  • 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 need a hearing aid that’s compatible.
  • Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.

Hearing loss at work

Even if you have mild hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But having it treated will frequently eliminate any obstacles you face with untreated hearing loss. Call 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.