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 really important client. Your company is being considered for a job and several people from your company have come together on a conference call. All of the various voices get a little jumbled and difficult to comprehend. But you’re hearing most of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue turning up the volume. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’ve become fairly good at that.

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

You freeze. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what problem they’re attempting to solve. Your boss is counting on you to seal this deal. What do you do?

Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.

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

So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following will help us find out.

Unequal pay

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

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

Hey, that isn’t fair!

Hearing loss impacts your general performance so it’s not hard to understand the above example. Unfortunately, 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 deal with a firm that doesn’t listen.

He lost out on a commission of $1000.

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

Injuries on at work

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

And people with only mild hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps, their hearing loss is minor enough that they’re not even aware of it.

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

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Confidence
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Empathy
  • Personality

These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. You may not even realize how huge an impact on your job it’s having. Take steps to decrease the impact like:

  • Keep a brightly lit work space. Being able to see lips can help you follow even if you don’t read lips.
  • Understand that when you’re interviewing, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer may not ask. However, you may need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. You will most likely need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
  • Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. Discussions will be easier to follow.
  • Face people when you’re conversing with them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
  • Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
  • Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes straight into your ear and not through background noise. In order to use this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s compatible.
  • 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 an area of the building that can be very noisy. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different job. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
  • Wear your hearing aids at work every day, at all times. When you do, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.

Hearing loss at work

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s minor. But many of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can create will be solved by getting it treated. Contact us today – we can help!

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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.
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