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Hearing Loss in the Workplace

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Good communication skills are imperative to everyday life. This is especially true in the workplace. When you can't communicate properly, balls get dropped, messages get missed, details can be overlooked, and people can misinterpret motives or attitudes.

For people with untreated hearing loss, this can make life very difficult and affect job performance and earning potential.

Here are a few ways that hearing loss can affect you at work:

1. Reduced confidence and feelings of incompetence.
Miscommunication can result in projects not getting completed accurately or on time. When expectations are not met, frustration can take place. Not feeling like you're "on top of your game" can have an affect on your confidence level in the work place. If you don't feel that you are doing your best work, it can affect the morale of the entire team. Confidence is one of the key indicators for promotion, salary increases, and overall job success. Studies have shown that individuals with untreated, severe hearing loss make an average of $14,000 less than those who have normal hearing.*

2. Strained working relationships. 
When you don't get the entire message, it's easy to just make something up and misinterpret the original message. This type of miscommunication can lead to friction even in people with normal hearing, but for a person with untreated hearing loss, it can happen more frequently. We spend a large part of our day with the people we work with; it's important to communicate as effectively as possible.  

3. Overall mental fatigue
Did you know that you hear with your brain, not your ears? When you have hearing difficulty, your brain has to work overtime in order to make sense of the speech and environmental sounds around you. Having to repeat project details or fix mistakes from miscommunication can take a toll on your energy level. This strain can result in added fatigue by the end of the day.  

The good news is that hearing difficulties can be treated. With proper diagnosis and treatment, your audiologist can suggest techniques for maximizing communication in the workplace and overcoming hearing obstacles. 

If you find yourself struggling in the office or noticing feelings of inadequacy, please call our office at 402.489.4418. We can do a simple hearing test and help you find a solution.

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