Six out of ten UK employees over the age of 55 have noticed some sort of issue with their hearing that is giving them problems at work, a survey has suggested.
Starkey Hearing Technologies commissioned OnePoll to survey 800 working adults aged 55 or over to assess the impact of hearing loss in the workplace.
Amongst those who had noticed a deterioration in their hearing and a consequent impact on their ability to work, four out of ten said their confidence had been affected.
Diminished productivity and a sense of marginalisation in the workplace were also found to be common consequences of hearing problems for older employees, smallbusiness.co.uk reported.
When it comes to day-to-day activities in the workplace, almost half of respondents who had experienced hearing loss said they avoided using the telephone.
A third said they would try to get out of meetings, while a quarter turned down opportunities to socialise with colleagues.
More than half of over-55s struggling with hearing issues had concerns that their employer would not be supportive, while a similar proportion felt reluctant to confide in colleagues.
Almost half tried to cope with the problem by asking their co-workers to speak louder and repeat themselves, while one in five said they relied on lip reading.
Harley Street audiologist and Starkey partner Jonathan Ormerod said: "Even a slight hearing loss can cause problems for an employee in the workplace.
"Apart from the possibilities of embarrassment over mishearing conversations, concerns over missing key instructions can cause worry or be potentially dangerous."
He went on to note that taking positive action to address deterioration in hearing can "have a huge impact on an individual's performance".
Nearly nine out of ten respondents to the survey said they wore glasses or contact lenses to aid their performance at work, but four out of ten said they wouldn't wear a hearing aid for fear of looking and feeling old.
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Written by Megan Smith
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