How Hearing Loss May Affect Your Job

How Hearing Loss May Affect Your Job
Jeff Baller, Au.D., CCC-A
Latest posts by Jeff Baller, Au.D., CCC-A (see all)

Hearing loss can affect people of all ages, and adults in the workforce have a high risk of damaging their hearing. In fact, people in the workforce are risking their hearing due to dangerously loud noise levels at work. A recent study found that about 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise on the job. Hearing loss can be caused by loud working conditions, or even by excessively loud leisure activities. Hearing loss will affect your job, your safety, and even your earning potential.

Hearing Loss Will Leave You Exhausted

Hearing loss makes it hard to hear, but it also affects your energy levels. Think about your normal workday. How much of the day do you spend straining to hear, or trying to follow conversations? All this straining to understand the sounds around you puts a lot of strain on your brain and on your energy, and by the end of the day you often feel exhausted. 

Fatigue makes it harder to focus on tasks, and you may fall behind on your work. You’re more likely to make mistakes when you’re tired, or overlook important instructions.

Hearing Loss and Communication

When you have hearing loss, it’s hard to communicate effectively with your coworkers and your boss. You may not hear what’s being said, ask people to repeat themselves, or mishear something important during a briefing. Workplaces are usually noisy, and in all that background noise your brain has a hard time separating speech from distracting sounds. Hearing loss makes it hard to communicate at work, and this affects your ability to do your job. Hearing loss can lead to some costly mistakes, poor job performance, or miscommunication between you and your employer. 

Hearing Loss and Safety on the Job

Another way hearing loss affects your job is safety. You use your hearing to stay alert at the jobsite, and maintain awareness of who and what is around you. Hearing helps you realize there’s heavy machinery moving behind you, and it could keep you safe when you hear a warning shout from a coworker. Hearing loss can jeopardize your safety and the safety of your coworkers when you can’t localize sounds in the environment, or hear clearly. Hearing loss increases the risk of an accident or injury at work, and can be a major safety risk.

Hearing Loss and Your Earning Potential

Did you know that hearing loss can impact your earning potential? A recent study published in The Hearing Journal found that hearing loss affects your wages. People with hearing loss make on average 25% less than their hearing peers! Hearing loss affects your earning potential by making it harder to do your job well. You ask people to repeat themselves, may make a mistake, or even cause an accident. Adults with hearing loss are less likely to get a raise or a promotion, and this affects their earning potential. 

Recognizing Hearing Loss

Don’t let hearing loss affect your job, and learn to recognize the signs of hearing loss. The most common signs of hearing loss include: 

  • Having a hard time to follow conversations, and mishearing on the job.
  • Missing important instructions on how to do a job.
  • Failing to understand what’s being said.
  • Asking coworkers to repeat themselves.
  • Not hearing the beeping of heavy machinery.
  • Not hearing the yell of a coworker.
  • Struggling to determine where a sound is coming from.
  • Having a hard time hearing in group meetings.
  • Having difficulty hearing in the office, or anywhere with distracting background noise.
  • Not hearing well on the phone.

Do these signs of hearing loss sound familiar? To avoid the negative effects of hearing loss in your professional life, schedule a hearing test the moment you notice these changes in your hearing health. 

When to Treat Your Hearing Loss

If your hearing loss is affecting your job, it’s time to treat your hearing loss. Hearing loss makes it hard to communicate, can be a safety risk, and will leave you exhausted at the end of the day. It can even affect your salary! Treat your hearing loss as soon as possible, and don’t let hearing loss hold you back. Find out how treating hearing loss with hearing aids can help you hear clearly at work.


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