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

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a moment, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Your company is being considered for a job and a number of individuals from your company have come together on a conference call. All of the various voices get a bit muddled and difficult to understand. But you’re pretty certain you got the gist of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you continue cranking the volume up. So you simply make do, interpreting what’s being said the best you can. You’re very 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 company help us solve this?””

You panic. You have no idea what their company’s problem is because you didn’t hear the last portion of the discussion. This is your deal and your boss is counting on you. So now what?

Should you admit you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They might think you weren’t paying attention. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, that will be too obvious.

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 impacting your work as a whole? The following can help us find out.

Lower wages

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

They discovered that individuals who have untreated hearing loss make about $12,000 less per year than those who can hear.

Hey, that’s not fair!

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

He missed out on a $1000 commission.

It was only a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. How might things have been different if he were wearing his hearing aids?

Injuries on the job

A study reported in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that individuals with neglected hearing loss are nearly 30% more likely to have 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 people with only slight hearing loss were at the greatest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any kind impairs a person at work.

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

Your employer has a great deal to gain from you:

  • Skills
  • Personality
  • Empathy
  • Experience
  • Confidence

Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. You might not even know how big an impact on your job it’s having. Take actions to reduce the impact like:

  • Ask for a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes straight into your ear. In order to utilize this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.
  • Understand that during a job interview, you’re not required to reveal that you have hearing loss. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. Conversely, you may need to consider if your untreated hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you may decide to disclose this before the interview.
  • Compose a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.
  • Never overlook using 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 require many of the accommodations.
  • If a task is going to surpass your capability you need to speak up. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very loud. Offer to do something else to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re coping out.
  • Look directly at people when you’re speaking with them. Try to keep phone calls to a minimum.
  • Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to keep up with the discussion.
  • Make sure your work area is brightly lit. Even if you don’t read lips, looking directly at them can help you discern what’s being said.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s slight. But having it treated will frequently get rid of any barriers you face with neglected hearing loss. We can help so give us a call!

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.