As you are comfortably into the new year, a resolution you may have for yourself is to continue to invest in your professional goals. With that comes attending additional work events and displaying your interest and engagement. Hearing loss can make it difficult to feel engaged. If you have any form of hearing loss, you may consider additional strategies and tools to ensure your hearing loss doesn’t disrupt your ability to be present and interact with others.
As approximately 15% of American adults report some trouble hearing, there are several tested strategies you can implement. It’s important to remember that you deserve to hear conversations; it’s okay to ask people to repeat themselves and it’s okay to ask for accommodations.
In the meantime, pick up some pastries from Patisserie Manon for your next meeting and consider these strategies to improve your experience while attending work events with hearing loss.
Strategies to Navigate Hearing Loss
- Strategize your surroundings: It’s more difficult to hear speech sounds, specifically in noisy settings. So, at bustling events you can set yourself up for success by prioritizing your location to the speaker. Sit facing the speaker or at a round table when possible. Try to locate yourself away from music speakers or kitchens. Avoid seats facing windows. Face whoever is speaking to use your lipreading skills when possible.
- Request notes in writing: This is a potential accommodation for any company. You can receive written minutes following meetings or even send email confirmation summaries following meetings. For casual work events such as happy hours, this may be more difficult. However, there are other strategies you can use.
- Use your smartphone: There are speech-to-text and other captioning apps such as LiveCaption or eyeHear on your phone that many find useful at work events or other settings.
- See a hearing specialist about hearing aids: Navigating hearing loss requires routine check-ups to monitor hearing loss progression. Additionally, hearing aids are a useful tool that could improve your overall quality of life in addition to giving you the ability to better hear speech sounds and stay connected with others. Hearing aids can have personalized settings for your needs and lifestyle. Several hearing aid styles also have Bluetooth® to stream content directly to your hearing aids. They also offer the ability to lower background noise, allowing you to better hear conversations.
- Prepare: Talk with your company, supervisor or coworkers about your level of hearing loss. This will allow them time to prepare accommodations and use consideration when selecting events and creating experiences the entire team can enjoy.
As you attend more events, you will also learn the strategies that work best for you. If you’re unsure you have hearing loss but have struggled to understand conversations at work events, you should consider scheduling a hearing test. Detecting hearing loss early is a great way to preserve your remaining hearing long-term.
For questions or to schedule a hearing test for you or a loved one, contact Nevada Ear + Sinus Institute.
Call Nevada Ear + Sinus Institute at (702) 735-7668 for more information or to schedule an appointment.