A guide to wearing hearing aids in the workplace
There are many stigmas that surround wearing hearing aids, one of which is that only elderly people need to wear assistive listening devices. While one in three people over the age of 65 experience hearing loss, according to Hearing Loss Association of America, 60 percent of all people with hearing loss are in the work force or educational settings. Unfortunately, this can mean that someone receives less compensation due to his or her lack of understanding and comprehension. There are plenty of ways you can continue to succeed in the workplace with your hearing loss. Follow these guidelines in the office to ensure your hearing loss doesn't get in the way:
Let everyone know
If no one is aware of your hearing loss, they might just think you aren't paying attention when you ask a speaker to repeat him or herself in a meeting. Be your own advocate in the office, and be clear about your situation. Can you only hear when there isn't background noise? Can you hear better in person versus on the phone? These are questions you may need to ask yourself so that you are working to your full potential in the office. Consider speaking with your employers and coworkers and try these solutions to ease trouble with communication:
Many jobs today require a certain level of group work, so you may need help communicating during meetings and conferences.
People who are uninformed of hearing loss may try to help out, but sometimes their good intentions fall flat. Don't be afraid to let your employer and coworkers know the best practices to helping you understand clearly.
Some believe that speaking louder will make it easier for people with hearing aids to hear, but the devices themselves amplify sound. Someone speaking loudly will just sound distorted to the listener. Let them know that speaking in their regular tone is best.
Use assistive listening devices
In an office setting, you may not want to put a burden on others to accommodate your situation. In this case, utilizing assistive listening devices is a good solution. You can use different settings and features on your hearing aids as well as additional devices.
If you are having trouble adapting to hearing aids in the workplace, consult your audiologist for advice. Making an effort to ease the issue in the office is the first sign of your dedication to work.