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

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a minute, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Numerous representatives from their offices have gathered to discuss whether to hire your business for the job. As the call continues, voices go up and down…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep turning up the volume. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’ve become pretty good at that.

As you listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for about a minute. This is the stage where the potential client says “so exactly how will your firm help us solve this?””

You panic. You have no clue what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the discussion. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. What can you do?

Do you request they repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.

People go through situations like this every day when they are at work. They try to read between the lines and cope.

But how is neglected hearing loss really affecting your work as a whole? Let’s find out.

Unequal pay

The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 people using the same approach 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!

Hearing loss effects your general performance so it isn’t hard to understand the above example. Sadly, he couldn’t close the deal. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to work with a firm that doesn’t listen.

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

It was just 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 the job

Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to sustain a serious on-the-job injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a serious fall goes up by 300% according to other research.

And individuals with only mild hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps they don’t grasp that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.

How to have a successful career with hearing loss

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Confidence
  • Personality
  • Empathy

These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a factor. It could be impacting your job more than you recognize. Take measures to reduce the impact like:

  • Never neglect wearing your hearing aids 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.
  • When you’re talking to people, make sure you look directly at them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • Requesting a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. Discussions will be easier to keep up with.
  • So that you have it in writing, it’s not a bad idea to draft up a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Make sure your work space is well lit. Even if you’re not a lip reader, being able to see them can help you understand what’s being said.
  • 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. In order to utilize this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s compatible.
  • Speak up when a job surpasses your abilities. For example, your boss might ask you to cover for someone who works in a really loud part of the building. So that you can make up for it, offer to take on a different job. That way, it never seems as if you aren’t doing your part.
  • Know that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it’s not okay for the interviewer to 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 inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the situation.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s mild. But having it treated will frequently minimize any barriers you face with neglected hearing impairment. We can help so contact 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.