Hearing aid wearers and the workplace

office-workers-smilingHow is good hearing linked to progression in the workplace or in business? Meetings, telephone calls, a chat with colleagues: communication play a key role in everyday professional life and often determines success and failure. However, what if this very communication is impaired by a hearing loss? A Hear the World initiative addressed this issue as part of the “Hearing is Living” study and came across some exciting new findings. For Instance, it was demonstrated among other things that people who can hear better again, thanks to a hearing aid, have more enjoyment, success and less stress in their profession than people with an untreated hearing loss. A quarter of the respondents hearing aid wearers questioned even stated that they would not be able to perform their job without a hearing aid.

81 per cent of the respondents with a hearing aid have discovered they are able to work normally again since wearing a hearing aid. 22 per cent of the respondents are even convinced that it would be impossible for them to pursue their work without hearing aids. Another 84 per cent state that the hearing aid enables them to take active part in meetings and discussions with their colleagues again; telephone conferences no longer pose a problem to 64 per cent of the respondents with a hearing aid either. No mean feat when one considers that 24 per cent of the respondents with an untreated hearing loss report that they are no longer able to get properly involved in meetings due to their reduced hearing; for 32 per cent a simple telephone call quickly becomes a challenge. 15 per cent have even made mistakes due to being unable to understand something.

No wonder then that the hearing aid wearers have less stress in their daily working life (30%) than those with an untreated hearing loss (36%). “Added to the everyday challenges in professional life come even more psychological stress factors for people with reduced hearing. Primarily in meetings or telephone conferences it is difficult to follow the dialog and get actively involved. “Always having to check on things is unpleasant and may seem unprofessional. It’s not unusual for those affected to feel excluded and often be afraid of misunderstandings. Not only the performance suffers as a result, but above all the self-esteem”, explains Prof. Dr. med. Martin Ohlmeier, Director of the Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Klinikum Kassel/Germany.

Another important finding of the study: Good hearing perceptibly influences working morale and income. For instance, 74 per cent of the hearing aid wearers with average to severe hearing loss confirm that they enjoy their work and 76 per cent that they have good concentration. In comparison: of those affected who do not wear hearing aids only 67 per cent (enjoyment in work) or 66 per cent (good concentration) agreed with such statements. This also affects the salary: for instance, 50 per cent of the hearing aid wearers believe their income to be in line with their assignments and performance, the figure is only 40 per cent for the respondents with an untreated hearing loss. Also interesting: Whereas 27 per cent of the respondents with untreated hearing loss attempt to conceal their reduced hearing at work, 67 per cent of the hearing aid wearers assume that their colleagues are not even aware that they use a hearing aid.

The most important facts at a glance:

  • 81% of hearing aid wearers (HAW) report being able to work normally again, thanks to the hearing aid (HA).
  • 22% of HAW would be unable to pursue their work without an HA.
  • 84% of HAW have no problem taking part in meetings and discussions with the help of the HA.
  • 64% of HAW are able to easily telephone again, thanks to the HA.
  • 67% of HAW assume their colleagues are completely unaware of their HA.

This research was conducted by Hear the World, but at Hidden Hearing we hear similar feedback from our customers each week Hearing loss is not something to be ignored, and taking action on your hearing loss can help your career as well as your lifestyle and hearing health.

Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.

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