Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a second, picture that you have a job as a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Your company is being considered for a job and several people from your business have gathered on a conference call. All of the various voices get a bit muddled and hard to comprehend. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep turning up the volume. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’ve become fairly good at that.

As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. Then all of a sudden you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”

You freeze. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last part of the conversation. This is your contract and your boss is depending on you. So now what?

Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slick sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.

Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with situations like this while working. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.

But how is neglected hearing loss actually affecting your work as a whole? Let’s see.

Unequal pay

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

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

Hey, that’s not fair!

We could dig deep to try to find out what the cause is, but as the example above shows, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they pulled out. They decided to go with a company that listens better.

His commission on this deal would have been more than $1000.

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

On the Job Injuries

A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to suffer a significant work accident. Studies also show a 300% increased danger of having a serious fall and ending up in the emergency room.

And it might come as a surprise that people with mild hearing loss had the highest danger among those with hearing loss. Maybe they don’t realize that hearing loss of any kind impairs a person at work.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Personality
  • Empathy
  • Confidence

These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. But it is frequently a factor. It may be impacting your job more than you recognize. Take steps to minimize the impact like:

  • In order to have it in writing, it’s a good plan to compose a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Know that you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a successful interview. You will probably need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
  • Make sure your work area is well lit. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
  • Use your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even need many of the accommodations.
  • Face people when you’re conversing with them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for example, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be very noisy. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • Before attending a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.
  • Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes directly 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 effect your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will often minimize any barriers you face with neglected hearing loss. Give us a call today – we can help!

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.