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Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a potential client. Your company is being considered for a job and a number of individuals from your business have gathered on a conference call. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are sometimes hard to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue cranking up the volume. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’re really good at that.

As you listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. 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 issue they’re attempting to resolve. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. So now what?

Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

People go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re okay and wing it.

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

Lower wages

A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same method that the Census Bureau uses.

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

Hey, that isn’t fair!

We could dig deep to attempt to find out what the cause is, but as the example above demonstrates, hearing loss can affect your general performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they went with someone else. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.

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

It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was using hearing aids, think about how different things might have been.

Workplace Injuries

People who have neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to sustain a significant workplace injury according to a study carried out by the American Medical Association. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall increases by 300% according to other studies.

And it may come as a shock that individuals with mild hearing loss had the highest risk among those who have hearing loss. Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they don’t even know about it.

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

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Confidence
  • Empathy
  • Personality

These positive attributes shouldn’t be overshadowed by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It may be having an effect on your job more than you realize. Take measures to reduce the impact like:

  • Never disregard using your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you may not even need many of the accommodations.
  • Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad idea to draft up a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Speak up when a job is beyond your abilities. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really noisy. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different task. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
  • 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 require hearing aids that will work with this technology to use one.
  • Keep a brightly lit work area. Even if you’re not a lip reader, being able to see them can help you make out what’s being said.
  • Know that you’re not 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 good interview. In that case, you may decide to reveal this before the interview.
  • Before attending a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But lots of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can present will be resolved by getting it treated. Give us a call 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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