How Hearing Loss May Affect Your Job

How Hearing Loss May Affect Your Job

In Hearing Loss by Dr. Robert Hooper Au.D.

Many people experience age-related hearing loss after they have retired. In this stage of life, hearing loss can have a profound effect on your relationships and social connections with others. Beyond these direct effects, hearing loss can also harm your health in a number of other ways ranging from physical to mental and cognitive. What about those who are not yet retired? If you are in the workforce and are experiencing hearing loss, this condition can have another layer of effects on your wellbeing. When you are unable to clearly communicate at work, your productivity can suffer, and in the worst cases your employment can even be in jeopardy. Let’s consider how hearing loss affects you at work, as well as what you can do about it.

Hearing Loss in the Workplace

The first and most noticeable effect of hearing loss is a reduced ability to communicate. When you have hearing loss at work, that communication is crucial to your productivity. Some occupations rely on communication for nearly every task. Those who work in customer service or management likely rely on communication as a core function of their jobs. However, those who work in these occupations are not alone. Verbal communication is an important part of nearly every job you can imagine. 

Though you might not need to pick up on the nuance of conversation if you work in some of these jobs, understanding instructions and directives is essential to your success. Those who have hearing loss in the workplace tend to have compromised ability to understand these instructions, leading to mistaken work and necessitating reworking tasks from time to time. If this loss of productivity results in poor job performance for a long period of time, a person’s employment might be at risk of termination. This reality is reflected in workplace statistics, as well. 

Those who have untreated hearing loss at work are more likely to be fired, but they also make less money per year, on average. Beyond these financial and practical concerns, workplace hearing loss can be a safety concern. Take, for instance, those mistaken instructions. Some of them might lead to confusion that puts you in an unsafe position. The unsafe working conditions don’t stop with you, either. Untreated hearing loss in the workplace can even lead to safety concerns for others on the job site, raising the stakes of this condition to the wellbeing of others, as well. 

Getting Treatment for Workplace Hearing Loss

If you have hearing loss and are employed, these facts are even more reasons to seek treatment. Some people with hearing loss at work find that they can’t hear certain sounds or certain voices. Others experience acoustical confusion. This condition means that the volume of sound and voices doesn’t seem too quiet, but it is difficult or impossible to discern what others are saying. 

Whatever your specific symptoms, the first step is to seek out a thorough diagnosis by a hearing health professional. If your hearing ability has been compromised, this exam will be able to specify which ranges of hearing ability are reduced and by how much. It is possible that you don’t yet need assistance, but this test is valuable to set a baseline for your hearing ability. If you do need assistance, your hearing health professional can point you toward the appropriate models of hearing aids. 

In consultation, you can describe the type of work you do, as well as the situations in which you can’t hear as well as you need to. Some of the latest hearing aids are specifically equipped to help you understand voices in a noisy environment by analyzing the sonic profile. These devices can turn down the background noise while isolating and amplifying the sound of voices. 

If you are interested in this kind of assistance, don’t delay making an appointment with us! The hearing test itself is brief, easy, and totally painless, and you’ll arrive on the other side with needed information about your hearing condition and options for treatment. Once you have the right hearing aids in the workplace, you can reap the benefits for your health, mental wellness, cognitive functioning, and even your financial wellbeing.