Can’t Hear Very Well at Work? You May be Missing More Than You Know

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a minute, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a very important client. Your company is being looked at for a job and a number of people from your company have come together on a conference call. As the call proceeds, voices rise and fall…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re getting most of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue turning the volume up. So you simply do your best, reading between the lines. You’re quite good at that.

As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for about a minute. This is the point where the potential client says “so precisely how will your company help us solve this?””

You panic. You didn’t catch the last few minutes and aren’t sure what problem they’re trying to resolve. Your boss is depending on you to close this deal. So now what?

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

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

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

Unequal pay

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

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

Hey, that’s not 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 overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to deal with a firm that doesn’t listen.

His commission on this deal would have been over $1000.

The situation was misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the effect on 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 discovered that people with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to suffer a serious work accident. 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 people with minor hearing loss had the highest danger among those with hearing loss. Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they’re not even aware of it.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still have a successful career

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Confidence
  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Empathy

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

  • If a job is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very noisy. In order to 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.
  • Never neglect wearing your hearing aids while you’re working and all of the rest of the time. If you have your hearing aids in you might not even require many of the accommodations.
  • Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
  • Requesting a written outline/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to keep up with the discussion.
  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. 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.
  • Keep a brightly lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you’re not a lip reader.
  • Recognize that when you’re interviewing, you aren’t required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. However, you may need to think about if your neglected hearing loss will affect your ability to have a successful interview. You will probably need to make the interviewer aware of your condition if that’s the situation.
  • In order to have it in writing, it’s a good idea to write a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.

Working with hearing loss

Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still impact your performance at work. But many of the obstacles that untreated hearing loss can pose will be solved by getting it treated. Call 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.