Changing attitudes about hearing loss at work


© Yuri Arcurs -

Forbes magazine recently ran an article about the changing perspectives when it comes to communicating about hearing loss in the professional environment. According to the article, the situation is improving.

Although hearing loss is often age related, it is estimated that 11% of people aged 50 to 59 years have some degree of hearing loss. Others develop problems hearing earlier in their working lives. Traditionally, this was not something employees liked to talk about at work. “This is the most denied physical condition that exists,” says Alison Grimes, Director of audiology and newborn hearing screening at UCLA Health. “People don’t say, ‘My hearing isn’t as good as it used to be.’ They’re worried about the stigma of being considered old.”

With the average age of employees gradually increasing, employers have started to change their position. The article cites the 2016 National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans conducted by global consulting group Mercer, which shows that 60% of large employers in the United States (5,000 employees or more) now offer some insurance coverage for hearing aids. Companies are also starting to add hearing health to their employee wellness programs, another sign of changing perspectives.

Dru Coleman, Director of national sales and marketing for EPIC Hearing Healthcare explains: “Hearing benefits are where vision and dental were 20 years ago. It’s coming. It’s more of an expected benefit.” The way people see hearing aids generally is also changing and improvements in their performance and size have made a real difference.

Source: Forbes