Teachers Can Be Susceptible to Hearing Loss

The overture of back-to-school sounds- babbling students, loud morning and afternoon announcements, ringing bells, and slamming lockers put teachers at a high risk for hearing damage and loss. A recent national survey found that 15 percent of teachers have been diagnosed with a hearing problem. The survey also found that teachers aged 18 to 44 describe hearing problems at a much higher rate than employees at other professions.

The most alarming development of this survey is that 27 percent of teachers believe that they have a hearing problem, but have not gotten treatment. These teachers often ask students and colleagues to repeat what they just said or misunderstand what is being said to them in conversations. This leads to feeling of stress and exhaustion, causing a lower job satisfaction and limited motivation.

Obviously, seeking treatment for hearing loss is pivotal for teachers, but many avoid it due to financial concerns and age-related stigma. In fact, only 19 percent of teachers are offered some type of hearing insurance, whereas more than half are given dental and vision insurance. This further shows that many do not understand the caliber of importance when it comes to treatment for hearing loss. When hearing loss goes untreated it causes people to turn up the volume on television and radios, worsening their condition. Moreover, difficulty with hearing means difficulty in communicating with people, resulting in social isolation.

To prevent all this, early intervention must be practiced. Educating people about hearing loss and arranging treatment for those who need it is the best solution for everyone.