Start Your New Year with Better Hearing!

Start Your New Year with Better Hearing!

Peter Lucier, HIS

“What was that?” “What did you say?” If you find that you are asking these types of questions more and more often, it could signal a hearing loss. Hearing loss can often develop so gradually that it can be difficult to self-diagnose. However, even if you are unaware of the loss, it doesn’t mean it’s not affecting you. Hearing loss can start subtly, and overtime impact every aspect of your life from your relationships at home, your earning power at work and your overall health and quality of life. Now that another year is quickly approaching, it’s a great time to use it as an opportunity to make a New Year’s resolution to address a possible hearing loss.

Hearing Loss and Your Relationships

We may feel that our hearing loss isn’t affecting anyone but ourselves. However, it has a significant impact on our relationships. When we struggle to hear what the people in our life are saying it can build resentment over years. Hearing loss can slowly develop over time and what may have started as small miscommunications can gradually become more consistent in daily life. Your family members, friends and significant others may notice before you do. If someone in your life has ever suggested that you have a hearing loss, it can be tempting to become defensive. Hearing loss often carries stigmas of old age, which won’t serve you by engaging in. There is nothing that may make you appear more out of touch and “older” than being disconnected and confused on a regular basis through conversation. 

Your loved ones may start to unconsciously become your interpreters when you are out and about which can lead to lack of independence and resentment which can be difficult to repair. However, by investing in hearing aids, you can improve your ability to hear the people you love and the quality of your relationships. It will take time but slowly and with openness around your condition, you can improve your interactions throughout your life and feel more open to whatever will come your way.

The Impact of Hearing Loss In the Workplace

Hearing loss is most common as we age, however, it can affect anyone of any age. 11 percent of people in the United States with hearing loss are still in the workforce. When you are open about your hearing at work you can take advantage of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) which ensures reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities in the workplace. However, the first step is to admit to yourself that you have a hearing loss. People on average wait 7 to 10 years to act around a hearing loss from the time they suspect they have a problem. This is a long time to go with untreated hearing loss. Don’t put it off. The longer you wait the more of an impact it can have on your professional career. Those with untreated hearing loss in the workplace are far more likely to be passed over for raises and promotions. In fact, a report from the Better Hearing Institute reports that those with untreated hearing loss in the workforce make $30,000 less annually than their contemporaries who have normal hearing or treat their hearing loss. Those with hearing loss are also far more likely to suffer termination and unemployment due to a hearing loss. 

However, when you are open about a hearing loss, you can ask for the accommodations you need to succeed in your job. This can mean asking to move to a quieter place to work, talk to text devices, printed meeting notes and company announcements as well as assistive listening devices. 

The Impact of Hearing Loss on your Quality of Life

When we choose to treat our hearing loss we are not only investing in our relationships and our career- but we are also investing in our overall health and well-being. Impacts to our relationships can affect our confidence and likeliness to try new things. Those with untreated hearing loss are less likely to make new connections and try new things. This year, we urge you to invest in your hearing as a commitment to yourself and those you love to continue to push the quality of your connections to new limits of closeness and greater success in your professional career.  Contact us today to find out what hearing aids can do for you!