Have you been in those situations where you had an important meeting with your CEO and you couldn’t follow much of the discussion? Or in that situation where you had been struggling hard to listen to what others are saying but due to your inability to do so, you prefer to fake it, ending up in responding inappropriately with people getting irritated? You find your colleagues speaking to you or even reaching out to you for help, and end up making them feel strange about you. You often find yourself in such embarrassing situations and yet you prefer not to disclose your hearing loss to anyone because you consider it as a shameful secret.

We understand what you are going through. But do you know that ignoring your hearing loss is only aggravating your problems leading to critical situations? Won’t it be more stressful and strenuous for you to try so hard to listen to and get what your colleagues and/or clients are saying? This would make you feel tired almost for the whole day, resulting in low energy levels and lesser concentration and productivity at work.

It might also happen that you are might feel ashamed of your hearing aids and hence want to hide them or even avoid wearing them. But this won’t help! Ignoring your hearing loss would only add to your complications.

So here are certain tips to handle your hearing problems at your workplace.

  • Talk to your colleagues and team leaders. The best way to avoid these annoying situations is to talk! Discuss your problems and open up to the ones near you. Whenever you have difficulties hearing, do tell the person you are speaking with that you have hearing loss and that you need to be spoken to a bit louder. Trust me, sharing would only make your stressful situation a lot easier and people would really cooperate.

  • No, your reputation won’t be affected if you have a strong and good work record. Often you might feel that people might ignore you or stay away from you, or that your reputation may be affected. But the truth is if you have a good record of your performance then people will definitely cooperate, and even offer to help.

  • Talk with your HR manager for sitting arrangements or other requirements that would make you feel better. For example, you might need special accommodation or a good sound set-up such as a better conference room with a good speakerphone. Also, make sure that your workspace is well-lit so that you can at least understand many things depending upon lip-reading. Because you really don't want the trouble to frequently ask people to repeat themselves. Even if you are a new user of hearing aids, and having some difficulties understanding speech, do discuss that too. Your HR will make special arrangements for you.

  • Take the help of an interpreter if required. If you find it very difficult to hear well till you get your hearing problems treated, or because you are wearing hearing aids for the first time, do appeal for assigning a sign-language interpreter for you.

  • Speaking up the truth is rewarded. People will definitely cooperate with you if you share the difficulties you are facing due to your hearing problems. This might even make them share their own vulnerabilities when such an atmosphere is built. This will boost up the environment and you will feel at ease.

  • Sharing your problems will lessen out your stress. The truth is hearing loss does not remain hidden. People will soon get to understand that something is wrong with you. Although not everyone would realise that you are having hearing problems, the worse thing can be that people might think you are not intelligent enough or that you are a poor listener.

  • Learn about hearing loss. Do make sure to consult a professional Audiologist who will perform a series of hearing tests and determine the intensity of your loss. Accordingly, your Audiologist will suggest the best treatment. Your Audiologist will also guide you on how to understand speech when you opt your hearing aids for the first time.

  • Generations are changing. Nowadays, almost all the schools have special care section which helps to ease out those individuals who have some kind of special needs. Today, most children know how to take everything positively and confidently and they know how to learn each other’s differences. Also, hearing aids are becoming so cool looking these days with so many advanced features.

  • Use digital hearing aids. The latest digital hearing aids are quite advanced and updated which are designed to make your life a lot easier and pleasant. You will soon adapt yourself to your workplace environment or to any listening situation for that matter. The hearing aids of today have excellent directional systems to help you stay focused on speech so that you can participate in conversations better and listen to group discussions well. The digital hearing aids also come with so many other features which would make you feel good and not feel like an isolated being.

So without thinking much or getting puzzled too often, do consider getting your hearing loss treatment and don’t shy away from wearing hearing aids. If you think that wearing hearing aids would make others mock at you, then you are wrong. It’s your life, so you have to decide what’s best for you. Moreover, hearing loss is more visible than your hearing aids.