Can’t Hear Well While You’re Working? You May be Missing More Than You Think

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 possible client. Your company is being looked at for a job and several people from your company have come together on a conference call. All of the various voices get a little garbled and hard to comprehend. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep turning the volume up. So you simply do your best, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’ve become fairly good at that.

There comes a point in the discussion where things become particularly difficult to hear. This is the stage where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””

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

Do you request they repeat themselves? They may think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.

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

So in general, how is your work being affected by your hearing loss? Let’s see.

Lower wages

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

They discovered that individuals who have untreated hearing loss make around $12,000 less per year than people who are able to hear.

That doesn’t seem fair!

We could dig deep to try to figure out what the cause is, but as the example above demonstrates, hearing loss can impact your overall performance. Unfortunately, he couldn’t close the deal. 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 over $1000.

It was only a misunderstanding. 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

A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that people 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 significant fall increases by 300% according to other research.

And individuals with only minor hearing loss were at the greatest risk, surprisingly! Perhaps they don’t realize that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.

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

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Experience
  • Confidence
  • Personality
  • Empathy
  • Skills

These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be affecting your job more than you recognize. Take steps to minimize the impact like:

  • Be aware that you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer may not ask. However, you may need to consider 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.
  • Speak up when a task surpasses your abilities. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be very noisy. Offer to do something else to make up for it. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. In order to utilize this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
  • Use your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. When you do this, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Keep a well lit work area. Even if you don’t read lips, being able to see them can help you understand what’s being said.
  • Look directly at people when you’re speaking with them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
  • In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad plan to draft up a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.

Hearing loss at work

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will frequently get rid of any obstacles you face with neglected hearing impairment. 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.