You Might be Missing a Lot if You’re Having Trouble 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 on a very important call with a potential client. Multiple representatives from their offices have come together to talk about whether to employ your business for the job. As the call continues, voices rise and fall…and are at times difficult to hear. But you’re hearing most of it.

And it sounds distorted and even less clear when you keep cranking up the volume. So you just read between the lines the best you can. You’re really good at that.

As you try to listen, the voices sound particularly muffled for around a minute. This is the point where the potential client asks “so precisely how will your firm help us solve this?””

You freeze. You have no clue what their company’s problem is because you didn’t hear the last part of the conversation. This is your contract and your boss is counting on you. So now what?

Should you acknowledge you didn’t hear them and ask them to reprise what they said? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you start using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

Individuals go through situations like this every day when they are at work. Oftentimes, they try to pretend they’re fine and wing it.

So in general, how is your work being impacted by your hearing loss? The following can help us find out.

Lower wages

A representative sampling of 80,000 individuals was obtained by The Better Hearing Institute using the same approach that the Census Bureau uses.

Individuals who have neglected 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 example above shows, hearing loss can affect your general performance. The deal couldn’t be closed, regrettably. When they thought that the salesperson wasn’t listening to them, they went with someone else. They decided to go with a company that listens better.

He missed out on a commission of $1000.

It was just a misunderstanding. But that doesn’t change the impact on his career. If he was using hearing aids, think about how different things might have been.

Workplace Injuries

A study revealed in the Journal of The American Medical Association discovered that people with neglected hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to suffer a serious work accident. Studies have also revealed a 300% increased risk of having a significant fall and winding up in the emergency room.

And people with only slight hearing loss were at the highest risk, unexpectedly! Perhaps, their hearing loss is minor enough that they’re not even aware of it.

How to have a prosperous career with hearing loss

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Confidence
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Empathy
  • Personality

Hearing loss shouldn’t dominate these. But it is frequently a factor. It may be affecting your job more than you recognize. Here are a few ways to lessen that impact:

  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound goes straight into your ear instead of through background noise. You will need hearing aids that are compatible with this technology to use one.
  • Before a meeting, find out if you can get a written agenda and outline. It will be easier to follow the discussion.
  • 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 effect on your ability to have a good interview. In that case, you may decide to disclose this before the interview.
  • Make sure your work area is well lit. Even if you don’t read lips, being able to see them can help you understand what’s being said.
  • Write a respectful accommodations letter to your boss. This way, you have it in writing.
  • Look directly at people when you’re conversing with them. Try not to have phone conversations as much as you can.
  • 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 might not even need many of the accommodations.
  • Speak up when a task is beyond your abilities. Your boss may, for instance, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be really loud. So that you can make up for it, offer to undertake a different task. By doing that, your boss won’t think you’re just trying to get out of doing work.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s mild. But lots of the challenges that untreated hearing loss can present will be solved by getting it treated. We can help so call 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.