How Hearing Loss May Affect Your Job

How Hearing Loss May Affect Your Job

In hearing loss, lifestyle by Candace Wawra

Roughly 22 million workers in the United States are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work. Do you work in a crowded office full of ringing phones and high, echoing ceilings? Do you go in to work every morning to be greeted by the sound of heavy machinery and experience ringing in your ears every evening? Millions of workers are exposed to dangerously high levels of sound and are at risk for developing permanent hearing loss. Hearing loss has the potential to affect job performance and earning power but seeking treatment could make a big difference.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Working in a noisy environment puts you at risk of developing Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Along with hearing loss due to natural aging, NIHL is one of the most common kinds of hearing loss. Some of the noisiest jobs include manufacturing, construction, farming, air traffic control, and law enforcement. Often, it can be hard to escape the loud sounds that are a part of the job. NIHL can be sudden or can be a gradual change that occurs over time, as you’re exposed to loud sounds day in and day out for many years of your life.

Hearing Loss and Job Performance

Just as hearing loss affects you at home and impacts your ability to communicate with your loved ones, hearing loss in the workplace can affect your job performance. To be successful at work, you need to be able to communicate affectively with your boss, as well as your coworkers. If you can’t hear instructions or discuss a problem with colleagues to find a solution, you may find the workplace to be challenging. Over time, these challenges may affect your job performance.  Hearing loss on the job can also be a safety hazard if you can’t hear a warning bell or notice when a coworker shouts a caution. Studies have shown that people who do not treat their hearing loss have lower earning power than colleagues with normal hearing – and colleagues who treat their hearing loss with the use of hearing aids.

Are you looking for work? Research shows that those with hearing loss have a much harder time finding employment, and rates of unemployment are much higher among those with hearing loss than those without hearing loss.

How Hearing Loss Affects Your Salary

Did you know that hearing loss affects your salary? A study out of the Better Hearing Institute reported that those with hearing loss had much lower wages than their hearing peers. Workers with even mild hearing loss made $14,000 less per year than those with no hearing loss. If you have severe hearing loss, you can expect to make around $31,000 less per year than those who hear clearly! If you think you can’t afford hearing aids, think again. This is an investment that will actually make you money.

Protecting Your Hearing

If you work in a noisy job, always wear hearing protection! A good rule of thumb is that if you must yell to be heard from 3 feet away, then the environment is too loud, and you need to protect your hearing. Your employer is required by law to provide you with adequate hearing protection. NIHL is preventable, so do what it takes to safeguard your hearing for years to come. Do you often adjust or remove your hearing protection to hear a colleague yelling at you over the sound of heavy equipment? Each time you do, you may be exposing your hearing to dangerous levels of noise. Explore your hearing protection options will allow you to both hear the speech sounds you need to hear, while also protecting your hearing.

Treating Hearing Loss

Are you struggling with NIHL? Are you worried about how it will affect your job? Visit us today at Hearing Wellness Solutions for a hearing assessment. Whatever your level of hearing loss, we’ll work with you to find the perfect device that can transition seamlessly between your professional, social, and personal life.

Take steps to ensure your best hearing health today! We offer the highest quality hearing aids in Springfield, MO. Contact us at Hearing Wellness Solutions for a hearing test.