October 22, 2020
Hearing loss is a public health epidemic that nearly 1 in 8 people live with in the U.S. A permanent medical condition, hearing loss has multifaceted effects that impact a person’s ability to manage professional and personal responsibilities with ease. Impaired hearing reduces one’s capacity to absorb and process sound which strains communication, impacts relationships, social engagement, and overall health. This can make it particularly difficult to navigate work environments and maximize job performance. Addressing hearing loss and practicing a few useful tips can help you effectively manage hearing loss in the workplace and tend to your hearing health!
The first and most critical step is to treat hearing loss. It is critical to be aware of the symptoms and seek treatment as soon as possible. Early intervention can prevent the impairment from worsening and help you transition to better hearing health sooner! It can also alleviate the range of symptoms that make it difficult to engage in communication:
In addition to alleviating these symptoms and enhancing communication, treating hearing loss allows people to participate fully in all aspects of their life.
Fortunately, there are effective ways to treat hearing loss that increase one’s ability to hear. Treatment begins with having your hearing assessed by a hearing healthcare specialist. Hearing tests involve a noninvasive and painless process that measures your hearing in both ears. This establishes any impairment and the degree of hearing loss you may be experiencing. The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids which are small, electronic devices designed to help absorb, amplify, and process sound. Hearing aids can significantly improve hearing, allowing people to easily navigate daily life!
In addition to recognizing and treating hearing loss there are several ways you can create an accessible and supportive work environment that meets your hearing needs. A few helpful ways include:
Additionally, if you work in a noisier work environment, you should wear protective gear (earmuffs, earplugs, headphones) that reduce the amount of noise you absorb. You can also use noise cancelling headphones which reduce background noise and prevent you from increasing the volume on personal devices. Taking a few extra measures can significantly protect your hearing health!