Hearing loss affects many aspects of your life, including your work. In fact, research has found that people with untreated hearing loss have a much harder time maintaining good work performance which may lead to decreased chance of getting promotions or raises. In some cases, it can even lead to being fired from a job because of poor work performance.
Here are some of the ways hearing loss affects your work:
Miss Important Things
When you can’t hear properly, you’re bound to miss important things. Even in an ideal listening situation such as a meeting where only your boss is talking, it may be hard for you to catch everything or hear things exactly as they’re being said, depending on your degree of hearing loss. When facing a less-than-ideal situation with background noise, hearing loss can make it nearly impossible to be able to hear what’s being said.
For many people with hearing loss, one of the things that they find incredibly difficult is talking on the phone. That means if your job involves talking to clients and other people on the phone, you’re going to have an extremely hard time if you also have hearing loss. Since hearing loss tends to get worse over time, not treating it will likely lead to even worse hearing in the future which will make it even harder to hear what’s being said on the phone.
Hearing loss can be frustrating for both the person who has it, and those around them. This is because when you’re in a state of constantly questioning what other people are saying, it’s easy to become frustrated. And, when your co-worker has to repeat the same information to you a third time because you can’t hear them, it’s easy for them to get frustrated as well. This frustration can lead to more conflicts at work which affects your performance.
Loss of Memory
This is particularly true in cases of advanced hearing loss. The same regions of the brain that are used for hearing are used for memory. So, when your brain is no longer actively working to hear things because of hearing loss, it can negatively impact your memory as well. When you can’t remember what you were told or forget important dates, your work performance is sure to suffer as you start missing deadlines and making simple mistakes due to hearing loss affecting your memory.
People with hearing loss are well aware of how exhausting it is to constantly have to work to try to hear what people are saying. As you have to focus harder just to hear, you will find yourself getting exhausted very quickly. As you get exhausted, you will not only be more irritable which can be bad for your work performance, but you will also have a harder time concentrating on the work that you’re doing, which also hurts work performance.
Although there are plenty of work environments that are completely safe for people who have profound hearing loss or are even deaf, there are other environments where hearing is important for your safety. If you work in an environment with heavy machinery or other dangers that you need to hear approaching to avoid, then you may be putting yourself at risk by working with untreated hearing loss. Even in the safest work environments you won’t be able to hear fire alarms.
There should be no doubt in your mind now that hearing loss has a profoundly negative impact on your work performance. If you want to make sure you continue to perform well at work, then your next step should be to head to your closest hearing center to get your hearing tested and get yourself fitted for some hearing aids.