You May be Missing a Lot if You’re Having Difficulty Hearing at Work

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a second, imagine that you’re working as a salesperson. Today, you’re having a very important call with a possible client. Numerous representatives from their offices have come together to talk about whether to employ your company for the job. As the call continues, voices rise and fall…and are at times hard to hear. But you’re getting 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 very good at that.

There comes a point in the discussion where things become particularly difficult to hear. Then all of a sudden 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 part of the conversation. This is your contract and your boss is depending on you. What do you do?

Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. What about relying on some slick sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Every single day, people everywhere go through situations like this while working. 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.

Unequal pay

The Better Hearing Institute surveyed 80,000 people using the same technique the Census Bureau uses to get a representative sampling.

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

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 affect your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they pulled out. They decided to go with a company that listens better.

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

The situation was misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. If he was wearing hearing aids, think about how different things may have been.

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 suffer a serious work accident. And, your risk 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 shock that people with minor hearing loss had the highest danger among those with hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t realize that hearing loss of any kind impairs an individual at work.

How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Personality
  • Empathy
  • Skills
  • Confidence
  • Experience

These positive attributes shouldn’t be dominated by hearing loss. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. It could be having an effect on your job more than you realize. Take actions to lessen the impact like:

  • Speak up when a job 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 very noisy. Offer to do a different job to make up for it. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.
  • Understand that when you’re interviewing, you aren’t required to disclose that you have hearing loss. And the interviewer can’t ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a successful interview. In that situation, you may choose to reveal this before the interview.
  • In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad idea to write a respectful accommodations letter for your boss.
  • Use your hearing aids while your working every day, at all times. When you do, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Asking for a written overview/agenda before attending a meeting. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.
  • Request a phone that is HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible). The sound doesn’t go through background noise but instead goes directly into your ear. In order to use this technology you will require a hearing aid that’s compatible.
  • Face people when you’re speaking with them. Try to keep phone conversations to a minimum.
  • Keep a brightly lit work space. Even if you’re not a lip reader, looking directly at them can help you understand what’s being said.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can impact your work, even if it’s slight. But getting it treated will often eliminate any obstacles you face with neglected hearing loss. Give us a call right away – 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.