Investing in Your Health: Treating Hearing Loss

Investing in Your Health: Treating Hearing Loss

In Health by Dr. Chris Lawson

Dr. Chris Lawson

Chris Lawson’s credentials include a Doctorate in Clinical Audiology (Au.D.) from the University of Maryland in College Park, and a B.S. in Communication Disorders from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. His graduate clinical training included rotations at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), public schools, and private practice settings.
Dr. Chris Lawson

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Did you know that hearing loss can have a direct effect on your finances? A study published in 2012 in the journal Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology found that people with hearing loss earn significantly lower wages than those with full hearing capabilities—more than this, the study notes that people with hearing loss are more likely to be unemployed.

A 2011 study published by the Better Hearing Institute notes that people with untreated hearing loss earn an average of $20,000 fewer dollars a year than people who are not experiencing hearing loss. Overall these lost wages contribute to a loss of around $26 billion in federal taxes. In total, approximately $176 billion in actual wages due to underemployment may be directly related to hearing loss.

Untreated Hearing Loss & Employment

Untreated hearing loss can have serious effects on your work life because hearing loss can negatively impact your abilities to communicate with the people around you.  You may be reluctant to go about the basic activities that fill your work day such as answering the phone, chatting with your coworkers, or speaking up in in group meetings. Your coworkers may not even know about your hearing loss, which can create difficult miscommunications. Ultimately, untreated hearing loss can make the day-to-day routines of your workplace quite stressful and anxiety producing.

Untreated Hearing Loss & Your Social Life

You likely take this stress home with you after the work day has ended. Untreated hearing loss can also create damaging relations with your loved ones. You may feel left out of conversations that you have difficulty tracking, and you might be causing stress for your loved ones when you turn the television or radio on maximum volume. After work dinner and drinks may be highly stressful as you find it difficult to hear and understand what people are saying in noisy environments.

Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss

This is to say that treating your hearing loss is a huge investment in your physical and your financial well-being. Whether at work or at home, one of the most important things you can do to improve your communication is to simply let people know that you are experiencing hearing loss, and that you have specific hearing needs. You may want to let them know, for example, that you hear better out of one ear than the other. This will help people trying to communicate with you to better address you. You may not need (or want) people to speak louder to you, but to instead to speak more slowly and clearly. Today there are many ways to communicate and you may ask coworkers to contact you via text or instant message or email instead of calling you on the phone.

Treating Hearing Loss with Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are a very effective way of improving life at work and at home. There are many hearing aid devices these days, and many of them have amazing technology that allow you to use Bluetooth to sync up to your television, computers, and smartphones. While hearing aids of course help people to hear, they also play a huge role in helping people to simply communicate—which can have lasting effects on your workplace environment. Sergei Kochkin, who was involved in the study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute, notes that, “when people with even mild hearing loss use hearing aids, they improve their job performance, increase earning potential, enhance their communication skills, improve professional relationships, stave off depression and improve the quality of their life.”

It’s very easy to treat your hearing loss and you should begin the process as soon as possible. A visit to Evergreen Audiology is the first step. We will test your hearing using a safe and non-invasive hearing test. We will work with you to determine your care routine, which might include hearing aids. We will work with you, based on your needs, to determine the size and style of hearing aid you need.

We will also work with you to anticipate the sometimes-arduous process of adjusting to hearing aids—not only adjusting to how they feel in your ear, but adjusting to your new hearing capabilities. Hearing aids cannot capture lost hearing ability, but they do amplify sounds and support the hearing you do have, which means you might be overwhelmed with all of the new tones and pitches you’d previously been unable to hear. Once you’ve adjusted to your new treatment plan, you will surely feel more connected to your surroundings, more efficient and effective at work, and more in-tune with your friends and loved ones.

Evergreen Audiology

Are you ready to invest in your overall health and well-being? Contact us at Evergreen Audiology today to schedule a hearing test and start your journey to better hearing!