Every year, approximately 22 million people are exposed to potentially hazardous noise levels in their workplace. Experiencing bouts of hearing loss while at work can greatly impair your ability to concentrate on daily work tasks; additionally, it can create obstacles for conversing with coworkers and clients. This hearing loss, if left untreated, could potentially lead to complications at work and may even jeopardize your job.
We’ve compiled some tips on dealing with hearing loss in the workplace. Contact Associated Audiologists if you or a loved one are suffering from persistent occupational hearing loss.
The importance of hearing in the workplace
Most jobs require effective communication skills for success. Being able to talk on the phone with clients and communicate in meetings with your co-workers is critical for a healthy working environment.
How to tell if your workplace is too noisy
After working at the same place for an extended period of time you get used to all of the day-to-day office noises — so how do you know when your workplace is too loud?
- While at work, or when leaving, you experience a low ringing or humming sound that lasts up to several hours
- You experience temporary hearing loss when you return home from work, or your ears are feeling “stuffy”
- You find yourself consistently asking your coworkers to repeat themselves, despite being just a few feet away
- You talk loudly to your coworkers, or you’ve been asked multiple times to keep your voice down
Why you shouldn’t ignore hearing loss symptoms
If your hearing loss results from noise exposure at work, it is unlikely that the problem will resolve itself, especially if you’re returning to work every day. The loss may occur gradually over time, or you’ll notice some weeks it is worse than others.
It is imperative to disclose your hearing loss with your employers and coworkers so they can take the appropriate measures to effectively communicate with you before you seek treatment.
If you ignore your symptoms long enough, you may experience a wide variety of physical and financial stressors that only aggravate the issue. Depending on the degree of hearing loss, you may lose out on potential income after taking extra sick days, or hurt the quality of client relationships from lack of adequate service on your end. The physical ramifications of leaving your hearing untreated could be permanent. The continued exposure of high-level noise can irreparably damage sensitive structures in the ear and cause noise-induced hearing loss.
Taking preventative measures to lessen exposure
Hearing loss is largely manageable after you’ve experienced symptoms and recognized triggers. There are many ways to work with your employers to develop ways to lessen the impact of noise on your work environment:
- If working with machinery, your employer may lessen the amount of time you work on high-level noise equipment
- Developing a quiet work area that is void of day-to-day office sounds
- Training employees to control noise levels throughout the day
If you or a coworker are experiencing occupation-related hearing loss, Associated Audiologists has doctoral-level specialists who can help. Contact us today to talk about your treatment options and how you can prevent hearing loss, through things like hearing aids in Manhattan, KS, or the Kansas City metro.