Hearing loss impacts your job in subtle but profound ways. It makes it more difficult to conduct daily activities and complete certain tasks and can even affect your wages or salary.
Hearing Loss on the Job
Communication barriers: Hearing loss makes it difficult to communicate with your coworkers and employers effectively. Untreated hearing loss can lead to miscommunications, tension, arguments and social isolation. It also may be hard for you to hear instructions, which affects your overall job performance.
Representation: Your coworkers might have an inaccurate impression of your personality because your hearing loss negatively affects your communication skills. You may miss out on casual conversations, which can make you appear aloof or unfriendly.
Personal safety: Good hearing is important for maintaining your well-being on the job. You don’t want to miss fire alarms, emergency sirens, phone calls or verbal warnings from your coworkers. Failure to notice important alerts could cause serious injury and put you out of a job.
Promotions: Your employer will notice when you miss instructions and fail to participate in meetings and other work-related activities. While you may not do those things intentionally, a manager or supervisor could interpret your inaction as a lack of initiative or interest, affecting your likelihood of a promotion.
The Cost of Hearing Loss
About 12% of the U.S. workforce has hearing loss, and another 8% experience tinnitus. Both of those conditions can impact your financial viability.
According to the Better Hearing Institute, hearing loss accounts for $122 billion in lost wages each year. That includes reduced earnings because of disability leave, accidents, medical bills and time off of work.
Health and safety risks associated with hearing loss include:
- Falls and other work-related accidents
- Social isolation
Treatment for depression and anxiety can cost $200 to $500 a month, which doesn’t include the lost wages for missed workdays. Falls and other injuries can cost upward of $15,000, and trips to the emergency room range from $2,000 to $5,000.
Tips for Making Your Workplace Hearing Loss-Friendly
Advocate for yourself and express your needs to your coworkers.
- Use communication strategies to reduce the effects of hearing loss. Face your coworkers during a conversation and ask them to get your attention before they speak to you. That allows you to focus on facial cues and lip movements, which can improve speech understanding.
- Talk with your employer about hearing accommodations that will improve communication. Ask for written materials or agendas before meetings and request closed captions for virtual sessions.
- Try assistive listening devices like personal amplifiers to improve your hearing during meetings and one-on-one discussions.
If you suspect hearing loss affects your work life, call 888.473.8702 or contact Audiology & Hearing Aid Solutions online to schedule an appointment. We will conduct comprehensive hearing tests and prescribe hearing aids that suit your unique needs.