You Might be Missing a Lot if You’re Having Trouble Hearing at Work

Businessman worried about his hearing los at work

Imagine for a minute you’re a salesperson. Now picture that you have a call scheduled today with a really important client. Your company is being looked at for a job and several individuals from your business have come together on a conference call. All of the various voices get a little muddled and hard to comprehend. But you’re fairly sure you got the gist of it.

Turning the speaker up just makes it sound more distorted. So you simply make do, reading between the lines. You’re really good at that.

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

You freeze. You didn’t hear the last few minutes and aren’t certain what issue they’re trying to resolve. Your boss is counting on you to seal this deal. So now what?

Do you ask them to repeat themselves? They’ll think you were distracted. Do you begin using a lot of sales jargon? No, they’ll see right through that.

People go through scenarios like this every day when they are at work. They attempt to read between the lines and get by.

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

Unequal pay

A representative sampling of 80,000 people was collected by The Better Hearing Institute using the same technique that the Census Bureau uses.

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

Hey, that isn’t fair!

Hearing loss impacts your overall performance so it isn’t difficult to understand the above example. The deal couldn’t be closed, unfortunately. Everything was going great until the client thought he wasn’t paying attention to them. They didn’t want to deal with a company that doesn’t listen.

His commission on this deal would have been more than $1000.

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

Workplace Injuries

Individuals who have untreated hearing loss are almost 30% more likely to sustain a significant on-the-job injury according to a study conducted by the American Medical Association. And, your chance of ending up in the emergency room after a significant fall increases by 300% according to other studies.

And individuals with only slight hearing loss were at the highest risk, unexpectedly! Maybe, their hearing loss is minor enough that they don’t even know about it.

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

Your employer has a lot to gain from you:

  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Empathy
  • Personality
  • Confidence

Hearing loss shouldn’t overshadow these. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor. You may not even know how huge an impact on your job it’s having. Here are some ways to lessen that impact:

  • Request that you get a hearing aid compatible (HAC) phone. The sound doesn’t pass through background noise but rather goes straight into your ear. In order to utilize this technology you will need a hearing aid that’s compatible.
  • Before attending a meeting, ask if you can get a written agenda and overview. It will be easier to keep up with the conversation.
  • If a job is going to be beyond your capability you need to speak up. Your boss might, for example, ask you to go and do some work in a part of the building that can be very loud. Offer to do something else to make up for it. In this way, it will never seem as if you aren’t doing your part.
  • Use your hearing aids at work every day, at all times. If you’re wearing your hearing aids you might not even require many of the accommodations.
  • Be aware that you’re not required to divulge that you have hearing loss during an interview. And it isn’t okay for the interviewer to ask. But the other consideration is whether your hearing loss will have an effect on your ability to have a good interview. You will most likely need to inform the interviewer of your condition if that’s the case.
  • Keep a brightly lit work area. Even if you’re not a lip reader, being able to see them can help you discern what’s being said.
  • Face people when you’re talking to them. Try not to talk on the phone as much as possible.
  • Write a sincere accommodations letter to your boss. By doing this, you have it in writing.

Working with hearing loss

Hearing loss can effect your work, even if it’s slight. But lots of the obstacles that neglected hearing loss can present will be resolved by getting it treated. Contact us 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.