Your Hearing and Your Income

Hearing LossAs we age, we are susceptible to hearing loss and our ability to see. Do you find yourself holding documents away from and toward your eyes in order to read the ‘fine print’? Do you find yourself asking others to repeat themselves, struggling to hear in meetings, or worrying you might miss something your boss says?
You may want to address your hearing as well as get those new eyeglasses or contacts. A national survey by the Better Hearing Institute finds that those who struggle with hearing loss tend to earn $30,000 less than their peers (www.betterhearing.org). It is estimated that the reduction in personal income due to hearing loss may be as high as $176 billion annually in the U.S.
When you struggle to hear during meetings, the likelihood you miss or misinterpret points made by others rises. Your productivity level may decrease as you try to ensure you understand instructions or tasks. Relationships with your coworkers and your customers can be strained, especially if you have not publicly acknowledged your hearing loss and associated challenges.
They may not appreciate how they need to communicate differently with you to ensure you understand what they are saying or asking of you. Their perception of you is influenced by your ability to communicate with them, which includes your ability to understand and to fully participate in meetings, discussions or client interactions.
As we work later in life and delay our retirement, it is important that we are able to use the experience and wisdom we’ve gained over the years. We need to be able to fully communicate with our peers and our leadership. Hearing is a key part of our communication skills.
We need to compete in the marketplace. To do so, we must utilize hearing aids just as we wear eyeglasses. Personally, when I need to wear hearing aids, they will be a fashion statement just as my multiple pairs of eyeglasses are for me now. I know the hearing aids will help me to be a successful and valued employee, manager or business owner.
I encourage all of you to take care of your hearing as you care for your eyes and the rest of your body. After all, your income may very well depend on it!