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

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Just picture for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Your company is being looked at for a job and a number of individuals from your company have gathered on a conference call. All of the different voices get a bit muddled and hard to comprehend. But you’re hearing most of it.

Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. 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 conversation where things get particularly difficult to hear. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to help us with this”?”

You panic. You have no clue what their company’s issue is because you didn’t hear the last portion of the conversation. Your boss is counting on you to seal this deal. So now what?

Do you request they repeat themselves? They might think you weren’t paying attention. What about resorting to some slippery sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this at work. They try to read between the lines and get by.

So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? 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.

They found that people who have neglected hearing loss make around $12,000 less per year than those 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 illustration above shows, hearing loss can impact your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.

He lost out on a commission of $1000.

It was only a misunderstanding. But how do you think this affected his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things could have been.

Workplace Injuries

A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a serious work accident. And, your danger of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall increases by 300% according to other research.

And it may come as a surprise that people with mild hearing loss had the highest danger among those with hearing loss. Perhaps, their hearing loss is mild enough that they’re not even aware of it.

How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss

You have so much to offer an employer:

  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Empathy
  • Confidence
  • Personality

Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. But it is often a factor. It may be impacting your job more than you know. Take measures to minimize the impact like:

  • Never disregard wearing your hearing aids while you’re at work and all of the rest of the time. If you have your hearing aids in you may not even need many of the accommodations.
  • Be certain your work space is well lit. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you’re not a lip reader.
  • Know that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And the interviewer can’t ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you may choose to reveal this before the interview.
  • In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad idea to compose a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
  • Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to keep up with the discussion.
  • If a job is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. For example, your boss might want you to cover for someone who works in a noisy part of the building. In order to make up for it, offer to take on a different job. If you do that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • When you’re speaking with people, make certain you face them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s minor. But lots of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can pose will be solved by having it treated. Contact us today – 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.


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