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

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a second, picture that you’re working as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a possible client. Numerous representatives from their offices have gathered to talk about whether to employ your company for the job. All of the different voices get a bit muddled and difficult to understand. But you’re hearing most of it.

Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’ve become fairly good at that.

There comes a point in the conversation where things become particularly hard to hear. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”

You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t certain what problem they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is depending on you to seal this deal. So now what?

Should you acknowledge 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.

Every single day, individuals everywhere go through situations like this while working. They try to read between the lines and get by.

But how is untreated hearing loss actually impacting your work as a whole? Let’s find out.

Lower wages

The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 people using the same technique the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.

Individuals who have disregarded hearing loss earn, on average, $12,000 less per year.

That doesn’t seem fair!

We could dig deep to try to figure out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they went with someone else. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.

He lost out on a commission of $1000.

It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. How might things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?

Injuries on the job

Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to incur a significant on-the-job injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased chance of having a serious fall and winding up in the emergency room.

And individuals with only mild hearing loss were at the highest risk, surprisingly! Perhaps, their hearing loss is minor enough that they don’t even know about it.

How to have a successful career with hearing loss

Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:

  • Personality
  • Confidence
  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Empathy

Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. But it is frequently a factor. You might not even recognize how great an effect on your job it’s having. Take measures to minimize the impact like:

  • Be certain your work area is brightly lit. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
  • Wear your hearing aids at work every day, at all times. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even require many of the accommodations.
  • Requesting a written outline/agenda before a meeting. Conversations will be easier to keep up with.
  • When you’re speaking with people, make certain you face them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as you can.
  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
  • Know that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you may need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to interview well. In that situation, you may decide to reveal this before the interview.
  • Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
  • Speak up when a task surpasses your abilities. For instance, your boss may want you to cover for somebody who works in a noisy part of the building. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.

Hearing loss at work

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will frequently minimize any obstacles you face with neglected hearing loss. We can help so call us!

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.