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March 24, 2009

Hearing impairment causing exhaustion on the job

In 2008, hear-it carried out a number of online surveys about daily life with hearing loss. The results are being published in a series of articles on www.hear-it.org. Here is the third article.

Hearing impairment causing exhaustion on the job

Three in every four hearing people say they are exhausted at the end of their workday, according to an online survey carried out by hear-it. Many give up and withdraw from the labour market.

Exhaustion is common among 75 percent of hearing impaired people holding jobs, who took part in an online survey conducted by the non-commercial hear-it organisation.

- When your hearing is bad you get tired from concentrating to keep up in conversations with co-workers or other communication on the job, said Kim Ruberg, Secretary General of Hear-it.

Unsustainable situation

- When all of your energy is spent on communicating at work, you have little left for your family and leisure activities. This spells trouble, and for many hearing impaired individuals the result is increased numbers of sick-days and absenteeism. Many with hearing impairment feel compelled to give up their jobs, altogether, Ruberg added.

Hearing impaired employees are more likely than their co-workers with normal hearing to call in sick, according to a Dutch study, and one in five hearing impaired people withdraws from the labour market, according to data published by the Danish Institute for Social Research.

Assistive devices making the difference

- It's a shame that people with hearing loss suffer at work, especially considering that they don't have to, stated Ruberg. Proper assistive devices, including hearing aids can make a world of difference. The same goes for often simple changes in the workplace acoustics.

Ruberg urged employers to create better conditions for hearing impaired employees and to encourage their co-workers to be supportive. At the same time, he points out that the hearing impaired individuals, themselves, can enjoy significant improvements by seeking treatment.

About the survey

331 hear-it users took part in the survey which was part of a series of online surveys about life with hearing impairment.

Other articles about the survey results:

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