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Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a moment, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Now imagine that you have a call scheduled today with a really valuable client. Your company is being considered for a job and a number of individuals from your company have come together on a conference call. As the call proceeds, voices rise and fall…and are sometimes difficult to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.

Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you just do your best at filling in the blanks. You’re really good at that.

There comes a point in the conversation where things become particularly hard to hear. This is the stage where the potential client says “so precisely how will your company help us solve this?””

You freeze. You have no clue what their company’s issue is because you didn’t catch the last portion of the discussion. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. So now what?

Should you confess you didn’t hear them and ask them to repeat what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. What about resorting to some slippery sales jargon? No, that will be too conspicuous.

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

But how is untreated hearing loss really affecting your work as a whole? The following will help us find out.

Unequal pay

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

They found that people who have neglected hearing loss make about $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 illustration above demonstrates, hearing loss can impact your general performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, sadly. Everything was going very well until the client thought he wasn’t listening to them. They didn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t listen.

He lost out on a commission of $1000.

The circumstances were misinterpreted. But how do you think this affected his career? If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things may have been.

On the Job 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 significant work accident. Studies also show a 300% increased chance of having a significant fall and ending up in the emergency room.

And it may come as a surprise that people with mild hearing loss had the highest chance among those who have hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t realize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.

How to have a successful career with hearing loss

Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:

  • Confidence
  • Personality
  • Skills
  • Empathy
  • Experience

These positive qualities shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. But it is often a factor. You might not even realize how big an effect on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to reduce that impact:

  • So that you have it in writing, it’s not a bad idea to compose a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Wear your hearing aids at work every day, all the time. When you do this, many of the accommodations won’t be necessary.
  • Look directly at people when you’re talking to them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as possible.
  • Before a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.
  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound goes directly into your ear and not through background noise. In order to utilize this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s appropriate.
  • If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really noisy. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different job. In this way, it never seems like you aren’t doing your part.
  • Be aware that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer may not ask. But the other side is whether your hearing loss will have an impact on your ability to have a good interview. In that case, you may choose to divulge this before the interview.
  • Keep a brightly lit work space. Even if you’re not a lip reader, being able to see them can help you discern what’s being said.

Hearing loss at work

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s minor. But many of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can present will be resolved by having it treated. Contact us right away – we can help!

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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.