Work places are often hazardous to your hearing health. In America, approximately 30 million Americans are at risk of hearing damage caused by workplace noise and exposure to loud sounds. Hearing loss
is about more than struggling to understand speech. With hearing loss, it’s natural to be anxious about being successful at work and losing self-confidence. You can’t hear like you used to, and you’re afraid of dropping the ball due to your hearing loss.
What sounds put you as risk of hearing loss? Damage occurs when sounds are 85 decibels (dB) or more. Examples of loud sounds are machinery, gunshots, chainsaws, jackhammers, tractors, jet engines, and music concerts. Hearing loss can be sudden, from one very loud noise, or can be gradual, due to daily exposure to loud sounds.
If you or a loved one works in noisy environments
, the chances of hearing damage are high. Do you leave work with ringing in your ears or have temporary hearing loss? You’re at risk of permanent hearing loss. Here’s an easy rule of thumb: if you have to yell to be heard by someone standing three feet away, it’s too loud in your workplace, and your hearing is at risk.
Can you do your job with hearing loss? It’s likely that your job requires you to be able to communicate effectively with coworkers, customers, or the boss, as well as being spatially aware and thinking quick on your feet. Studies show that with untreated hearing loss, you’ll be at risk of being misunderstood, looked over for a promotion, or even let go for productivity issues.
You might not know this, but hearing loss has a huge impact on your salary! A recent study by Sergei Kochkin at the Better Hearing Institute found that hearing loss was related to income. They found that the more severe the hearing loss, the lower the salary. Those with severe hearing loss were making on average $14,000 less per year than those without hearing difficulties! Even though hearing loss is an invisible disability, it can have some very visible outcomes.
The solution is simple. If you are experiencing hearing loss, contact us for a hearing exam
and get fitted for hearing aids! The study found that with hearing devices, this difference can be overcome. With the use of hearing aids, negative effects of hearing loss were alleviated. Just look at the numbers for those with severe hearing loss. Individuals with severe hearing loss who didn’t wear a hearing aid made a staggering $31,000 less per year compared to those with severe hearing loss who treated their hearing loss with the use of hearing aids
Besides wearing hearing aids, look into other options around the office. Maybe you can move to a quieter office, or get an assistive listening device for your phone. According to the National Council on the Aging, those who wore hearing aids to treat their hearing loss were in better health, both emotionally and physically. They also faced less social isolation and had better relationships with their loved ones.
If you have hearing loss and it’s affecting your work, take the lead. Make changes for yourself and your coworkers. Request assistive technology, and remind the workplace that it’s their responsibility to provide equipment
to protect employees’ hearing. Speak with your local Vocational Rehabilitation Office or State Commission of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for assistance in acquiring assistive technology at work.
If you have hearing loss, don’t miss out on the benefits of hearing aids. Come talk to us at Puget Sound Hearing Aid & Audiology to find the hearing device that will work for your workplace.