One in six people worldwide are affected by hearing loss. That’s a huge number. When hearing loss becomes part of your working environment, the consequences are profound. Group interaction, phone calls, information exchange — all vital aspects of communication on the job are affected.
A recent survey of more than 4,300 hearing aid wearers in a variety of western countries suggests that persons with a hearing loss recover more than their hearing when they seek professional help. Not only are they more effective at their job, but they experience a more relaxed working life when using a hearing aid.
One in five respondents in the study stated that normal work life would be impossible for them without their hearing aid. A large fraction of people interviewed said the hearing aid enabled them to participate effectively in discussions and meetings. Group telephone conversations were no longer a problem, and respondents noted that they made fewer mistakes due to inability to understand what was being discussed.
Just as importantly, people in the study noted a significant reduction in stress on the job. Professor Dr. Martin Ohlmeier, Director of the Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Klinikum Kassel/Germany, noted “Added to the everyday challenges in professional work come even more stress factors for people with reduced hearing. Primarily in meetings or phone conferences it’s difficult to follow the dialog and get involved. Having to constantly check on things is unpleasant and feels unprofessional. It’s not unusual for those affected to feel shut out and worry about misunderstandings. Performance suffers as a result, and above all self-esteem.”
Professional growth and compensation were also seen to be influenced by better hearing. Three quarters of hearing aid wearers with average to severe hearing loss indicated that they enjoyed their work, as well as having good concentration. Those with hearing loss and not using a hearing aid reported lower figures in this regard. Salary is also affected: about half of the hearing aid wearers reported their income to be in line with their assignments and performance, with the figure being only 40% the respondents with an untreated hearing loss. And while 27 per cent of the respondents with untreated hearing loss attempted to conceal their reduced hearing status at work, about two-thirds of hearing aid wearers guessed that their colleagues are not even aware that they use a hearing aid.
Lowered stress and more enjoyment on at work as well as a relaxed relationship with co-workers: a key finding was the positive influence of good hearing on everyday professional life. People with good hearing have it a lot easier in their working life.
If hearing loss on the job is a concern of yours, or should be, please call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dena. Peninsula Hearing Center knows that when you hear well, you live and work well!