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

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a very valuable client. Your company is being looked at for a job and several people 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.

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

As you try to listen, the voices sound specifically muffled for about a minute. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”

You panic. You have no idea what their company’s issue is because you didn’t hear the last part of the conversation. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. What do you do?

Should you acknowledge you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They might think you weren’t paying attention. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Every single day, individuals everywhere are dealing with scenarios like this while working. Sometimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.

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

Lower wages

The Better Hearing Institute questioned 80,000 individuals using the same method the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.

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

Hey, that’s not fair!

We could dig deep to try to find out what the cause is, but as the illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can impact your overall performance. Sadly, he didn’t close the deal. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they went with someone else. They didn’t want to deal with a company that doesn’t listen.

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

The situation was misinterpreted. But how do you think this affected his career? How might things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?

Injuries on at work

A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to have a significant work accident. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall goes up by 300% according to other research.

And it may come as a surprise that people with minor hearing loss had the highest risk among those with hearing loss. Maybe they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any type impairs a person at work.

How to have a successful career with hearing loss

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Personality
  • Skills
  • Empathy
  • Experience
  • Confidence

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

  • Keep a brightly lit work area. Seeing lips can help you follow even if you’re not a lip reader.
  • Compose a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
  • Before attending a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to follow the conversation.
  • Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. Your boss might, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really noisy. Offer to do something else to make up for it. In this way, it never seems like you’re not doing your part.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes directly into your ear. In order to utilize this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
  • Never neglect wearing your hearing aids at work and all of the rest of the time. If you have your hearing aids in you may not even require many of the accommodations.
  • Know that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer may not ask. Conversely, you might need to consider if your neglected hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. You will probably need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the situation.
  • When you’re talking to people, make sure you face them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.

Hearing loss at work

Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But lots of the challenges that neglected hearing loss can present will be solved by having it treated. 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.