If you have a hearing loss, chances are you struggle to understand speech from a distance or in background noise. For those working at companies with open floor plans, hearing coworkers is even more challenging. Hearing aid technology has advanced in recent years so many hearing aids filter background noise or improves the wearer’s ability to distinguish where sounds are coming from. Along with these hearing aid features, there are simple things you can do to hear better in noisy environments. Our tips for using your hearing aids at work can help optimize your hearing at work – no matter what features your hearing aids provide.
- Many hearing aids can pair with a microphone or smartphone using Bluetooth technology to stream speech directly to your hearing aids. Concept’s Cedar Rapids and Coralville clinics’ Audiologist, Melissa Meggers, explains, “I have a couple of patients who report that using the Multi Mic at work provides significant benefit in meetings. I recently saw a patient who told me he attends board meetings with a large, rectangular table and 14 people present. He sits second to the end, and uses his Multi Mic in the center of the table to hear all parties in attendance.”
- Stream calls from your smartphone directly to your hearing aids to help you hear phone calls in noisy work environments. Most new Concept hearing aids can connect to Bluetooth-capable cell phones for hands-free discussions.
- Keep backup hearing aid batteries on hand for easy access throughout the day in case the batteries die. There is nothing more distracting than scrambling to find a battery during a busy conference, or attempting to buy more batteries in an unfamiliar city! Or, upgrade to our new Concept Recharge hearing aid line, so you never have to replace hearing aid batteries again.
- Sit where you can see everyone’s faces to help lip read and to pick up on body language. “If you’re in a conference room or meeting room, try to sit away from distracting background noise like fans and air vents. It’s also helpful to position yourself where you can have face to face interaction, as we get many communication cues visually,” Melissa adds.
- Tell your colleagues you have trouble hearing. A simple reminder to your coworkers to speak clearly, face you while talking, and rephrase rather than repeat misunderstood words is often all that is needed to enhance communication.
- Most importantly, remember that you bring experience, skills, and strengths to the workplace every day. Your hearing loss does not define you. Don’t stop with our list! We encourage you to continue to find creative solutions to the issues that are specific to your hearing loss.