Hearing loss affects roughly 48 million Americans. Some face hearing loss due to natural aging, and some are born with hearing loss due to genetic factors. Others experience hearing loss at work and discover that hearing loss is affecting their job far more than they could have ever imagined.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Did you know that 22 million workers in the U.S. are exposed to dangerous sounds at work? Whether in a crowded office, a construction site full of heavy machinery, or a bar with live music every weekend, you may be damaging your hearing every day. Do you get hit by a wave of sound when you get to work, or leave with ringing in your ears? If you work in a noisy environment, you risk noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Some of the most dangerous jobs for your ears include construction, farming, manufacturing, law enforcement, and the music industry. NIHL can be sudden, due to one exceptionally loud noise like a gunshot at close range. More often, NIHL is a gradual loss of hearing, as you are exposed to excessively loud noises day in and day out.
Protect Your Hearing
If you work in a noisy job, protect your hearing! Your employer is required to provide you with hearing protection if your work could be damaging your hearing, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. A good guideline to follow is that if you have to shout to be heard by someone standing just 3 feet away from you, it’s too loud and you should both be wearing ear protection.
Whether you choose to wear foam earplugs, earmuffs, or invest in custom made hearing protection that you can leave in comfortably all day, the important thing is that you think about your ears, and make sure you’re not risking your hearing. NIHL is preventable, so make sure you’re protecting your hearing for years to come.
How Hearing Loss Affects Job Performance
If you have hearing loss, you know that communicating can be a real struggle. At home or at social events, you’re often confused about what’s been said, and have to ask your loved ones to repeat themselves. At work, not being able to hear means you can’t communicate effectively with your boss or coworkers, and they might not be so willing to repeat themselves. Do you struggle to hear in meetings, or notice that you can’t concentrate on tasks? Hearing loss is clearly affecting your job performance. Those with hearing loss often find themselves up for review, overlooked for a promotion, or being reprimanded for mistakes that could have been avoided if they’d been wearing hearing aids.
Not only does hearing loss make communicating a challenge, it can also be a major safety hazard. If you can’t hear a warning bell, or don’t hear your colleague shout at you from across the room, you risk harming yourself or others, or making mistakes at work that could cost you your job.
Hearing Loss Affects Your Salary
Not only does hearing loss affect your ability to communicate and do your job well, it also affects your salary! A study from the Better Hearing Institute looked at wages and found that those with hearing loss made less than their hearing peers, or those who treated their hearing loss with hearing aids.
If you have mild hearing loss, you can expect to make an average of $14,000 less than your hearing peers. And if you struggle with moderate to severe hearing loss, you may be making a staggering $31,000 less per year! Think you can’t afford hearing aids? Maybe it’s time to reconsider investing in hearing devices, ensuring you’ll be recognized for your exceptional job performance, and get that promotion you’ve been eyeing.
Treat Your Hearing Loss
Are you searching for a job? Treating your hearing loss is the first step to a successful job hunt. Those with hearing loss are far more likely to be unemployed than those with clear hearing, don’t interview as well, and are less likely to be hired.
If you’re struggling to hear, don’t let hearing loss affect your personal or professional life. Visit us at Hearing Health to talk about your hearing needs and find the perfect device that will serve you well at work and at home.