Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

For just a second, imagine that you have a job as a salesperson. Today, you’re on a very important call with a possible client. Numerous representatives from their offices have gathered to talk about whether to hire your company for the job. As the call proceeds, voices go up and down…and are at times hard to hear. But you’re fairly certain you got the gist of it.

Cranking up the speaker just makes it sound more distorted. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re really good at that.

There comes a point in the discussion where things get particularly difficult to hear. Then suddenly you hear, “so what can your company do to assist us with this”?”

You freeze. You have no idea what their company’s problem is because you didn’t catch 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 reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Every single day, people everywhere are dealing with situations like this at work. They attempt to read between the lines and get by.

But how is untreated hearing loss really impacting your work as a whole? Let’s see.

Unequal pay

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

They found that people who have untreated hearing loss earn about $12,000 less per year than people who are able to hear.

Hey, that’s not fair!

We could dig deep to try to figure out what the cause is, but as the example above shows, hearing loss can affect your overall performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. When they got the impression that the salesperson wasn’t paying attention to them, they pulled out. They didn’t want to deal with a firm that doesn’t listen.

He missed out on a $1000 commission.

The circumstances were misinterpreted. But that doesn’t change the effect on his career. If he was using hearing aids, imagine how different things could have been.

Workplace Injuries

A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association found that individuals with untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to suffer a serious work accident. Studies also show a 300% increased chance of having a serious fall and winding up in the emergency room.

And it may come as a shock that people with mild hearing loss had the highest risk among those with hearing loss. Perhaps they don’t recognize that hearing loss of any type impairs an individual at work.

Even if you have hearing loss, you can still be successful at work

You have a lot to offer an employer:

  • Skills
  • Empathy
  • Personality
  • Experience
  • Confidence

Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. You might not even recognize how big an impact on your job it’s having. Here are a few ways to lessen that impact:

  • Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
  • Know that you aren’t required to divulge that you have hearing loss when you’re interviewing. And the interviewer can’t ask. Conversely, you might need to think about if your untreated hearing loss will impact your ability to have a successful interview. In that case, you might choose to reveal this before the interview.
  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes directly into your ear. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
  • When you’re talking to people, make certain you face them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
  • Use your hearing aids at work every day, at all times. When you do this, lots of of the accommodations aren’t necessary.
  • Keep a brightly lit work space. Seeing lips can help you follow along even if you don’t read lips.
  • Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in an area of the building that can be very noisy. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different job. This way, it will never seem like you’re not doing your part.
  • In order to have it in writing, it’s not a bad idea to write a sincere accommodations letter for your boss.

Working with hearing loss

Even if you have minor hearing loss, it can still impact your work performance. But getting it treated will often get rid of any obstacles you face with untreated hearing loss. We can help so contact us!

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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.
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