There are many ways hearing loss can impact your life, but your experience in the workplace is one of the more overlooked elements to living with hearing loss. If you think you’re alone when it comes to hearing loss affecting your career, think again. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently more than 22 million U.S. employees exposed to dangerous decibel levels every day at work, potentially creating many cases of untreated hearing loss. Addressing work-related hearing loss can be a difficult subject to confront. However, there are plenty of strategies that can either help you avoid experiencing symptoms of hearing loss at your job, or even better cope with it. Check out how you can manage or control hearing loss at work:
Protect your ears
One of the easiest ways you can avoid the dangers of hearing loss at work is by providing your ears with the necessary protection. If loud and hazardous noises are just another part of a day at the office, investing in quality ear muffs or earplugs is an absolute must. According to Dangerous Decibels, any sounds that exceed 85 dB have the potential to cause noise-induced hearing loss, and working environments such as construction sites usually have incredibly loud types of machinery that may cause hearing loss. Even wearing ordinary over-the-counter earplugs can help decrease decibel levels by 15 to 30 dB, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Watch your volume
You don’t have to be immersed within noisy environments to experience the dangers of hearing loss at work. If your job requires long hours on a computer, you’re more than likely going to be wearing headphones. Whether you’re playing music or streaming videos during break time, always keep an eye on your volume level. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation suggests adhering to a strategy called the 60/60 rule. This means that the volume within your headphones should never exceed 60 percent, and use them for no more than an hour of your day.
If you’ve begun to notice that you’re experiencing occasional ringing in the ears or trouble following conversations in crowded environments, it’s time to take action. Scheduling a visit with an audiologist if you’re worried about your hearing is always a smart move, and might just help you get a head start on treating your hearing loss. Even if your audiologist doesn’t detect signs of hearing loss, they can provide you with valuable information on how to continue preserving your hearing ability.
Adjusting to hearing loss at work
Just because you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss doesn’t mean that the condition should impact your work performance. There are a variety of effective strategies that can help you adjust to your occupational environment while managing hearing loss. If you often need to use the phone at work, invest in a captioned telephone, so you won’t miss a word of the conversation. Don’t hesitate to partner up with colleagues during meetings so you have someone to inform you on any information you didn’t hear. Suggest meetings at round tables to help you pick up on visual cues, and make sure there’s enough lighting to illuminate your co-workers faces. Receiving an agenda ahead of time to can help you keep track of where the meeting is heading. Addressing your hearing loss as quickly as possible can help you continue to thrive at work.
Extract: There are many ways hearing loss can impact your life, but your experience in the workplace is one of the more overlooked elements to living with the condition.