Hearing Loss and the Work Place

Hearing Loss and the Work Place

Do you work in a noisy industry? Are your mornings packed with the sound of loud machinery, and your afternoons filled with ringing in your ears? It’s common knowledge that working at loud jobs is putting your hearing in jeopardy. Whether construction workers or law enforcement officers, those who don’t recognize the risks and wear hearing protection are in danger of permanent hearing loss, and may even lose their jobs.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is one of the most common kinds of hearing loss, and is likely to affect those on jobsites who are exposed to dangerously loud noises. The noisiest jobs include manufacturing, construction, farming, law enforcement, and anywhere else loud equipment is being used. Excessively loud sounds are all around us, from a night out at the bar to a Saturday afternoon at the sports game. On the jobsite though, it’s hard to escape the sound of the machinery, chainsaws, jackhammers, tractors, gunshots, and jet engines that are all integral to your job. NIHL can be sudden, from one extremely loud sound, or can be a gradual change in your ability to hear as you are exposed to loud sounds each and every day at work.

Hearing Loss and the Work Place

Not only does hearing loss make it difficult for you to hear what’s said around the dinner table, it also affects your ability to do your job. Imagine working alongside someone when you can’t talk with them about the job you’re doing. To be successful at your job means you must be able to communicate with co-workers and supervisors. Without being able to hear instructions or talk though problems the job won’t get done correctly, and some mistakes can’t be easily fixed. Those with hearing loss may find themselves being reviewed, looked over for promotion, or even fired.

Looking for a job? Studies show that those with untreated hearing loss have much higher rates of unemployment than their hearing peers, or those who wear hearing devices, and the more severe the hearing loss, the higher the rate of unemployment climbed.

Hearing Loss and Your Salary

Think you can’t afford hearing aids? Living with hearing loss can make a huge difference in terms of salary. A recent study conducted by Sergei Kochkin, director of the Better Hearing Institute, found that those living with untreated hearing loss made far less money than those with no hearing loss or those who wore hearing aids. Employees with mild hearing loss made about $14,000 less per year than those with no hearing loss. Meanwhile, those with severe hearing loss made a staggering $31,000 less per year as compared to those with severe hearing loss who wore hearing aids! This invisible disability has extremely visible consequences.

Living with Hearing Loss

Those living with hearing loss know that it can be a challenge. Hearing loss affects your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, putting a strain on your close relationships and causing miscommunication and tension with your loved ones. You’re often anxious or stressed in social situations since you can’t follow conversations, particularly in places with lots of background noises. In fact, it’s common that those with hearing loss choose to stay home rather than meet with friends, since they’re embarrassed they can’t hear what’s being said, or may answer inappropriately. This leads to social isolation and feelings of anxiety and depression.

Treating Your Hearing Loss

If you work in a noisy sector, always protect your hearing! Wearing earplugs could make all the difference to your hearing health. When should you wear ear protection? If you have to yell to be heard by your colleague three feet away, it’s too loud, and you should both be wearing protection.

If you are experiencing a hearing loss, it’s time to seek treatment. Those who successfully treat their hearing loss don’t experience the negatives of unemployment, lower income, or social isolation.

Visit us at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Centers where your hearing health is our top priority. Whatever the cause of your hearing loss, we’ll work with you to find the device that will fit easily into both your professional and social life, giving you back the ability to be successful on the job, and hear every word your loved ones say.