|By Marketwired .||
|June 2, 2014 02:07 PM EDT||
WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 06/02/14 -- Addressing hearing loss on the job should be a workplace wellness priority, says the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), pointing out that in today's service and knowledge-based economy, good communication is critical to business success for both the employer and the employee. In recognition of National Employee Wellness Month in June, BHI is urging employers to include hearing tests and hearing health as part of their workplace wellness programs. Fortunately, hearing aids -- as well as other appropriate treatments and workplace accommodations -- can help individuals function optimally on the job.
To help facilitate timely hearing self-screenings for all American workers, BHI is offering a free and confidential online hearing check at www.BetterHearing.org, where anyone can quickly assess if they need a more comprehensive hearing test by a hearing healthcare professional. The earlier hearing loss gets treated the better.
BHI believes that by empowering America's workers with information on hearing health and options for addressing hearing loss, they can become more informed healthcare consumers and more productive, satisfied employees. BHI also is underscoring the point that hearing loss in the workplace is not the concern, but rather leaving hearing loss unaddressed is. When hearing loss is addressed, it does not have to get in the way.
A Changing Economic Landscape
America has reached the point where hearing health must become a workplace wellness imperative.
The U.S. economy now depends largely on employment that demands good communications skills. Service and knowledge-based work has become increasingly dominant. America also is experiencing a demographic shift toward a maturing labor force. People are staying in the workforce longer; baby boomers are on the threshold of their golden years; and the rate at which young people are entering the job market is slowing as a result of population changes. What's more, just as we're seeing this convergence of economic circumstances, we also are witnessing an increase in adult hearing loss at younger ages.
Already, nearly 40 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. The majority of them are in the workforce. And according to EPIC's "Listen Hear!" survey, more than 10 percent of full-time employees have a diagnosed hearing problem. Another 30 percent suspect they have a problem but have not sought treatment.
The Pitfalls of Brushing Off Hearing Loss
By limiting one's ability to communicate effectively, unaddressed hearing loss can unnecessarily affect productivity, job performance, and earnings; lead to fatigue and distress; restrict interpersonal interactions; make it difficult to receive and interpret auditory information from computers, machines, and individuals; pose a risk to one's ability to hear sounds that signal hazards in the work environment; increase sick leave, presenteeism, and disengagement from work; and diminish overall quality of life.
What's more, an increased risk of hearing loss is tied to three of the most significant wellness concerns of American employers: obesity, diabetes, and smoking.
A national BHI study even found that people with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss. The aggregate yearly loss in income due to underemployment for people with untreated hearing loss is an estimated $176 billion. And the fiscal cost to society in unrealized federal taxes is an estimated $26 billion. This doesn't even measure the impact that unaddressed hearing loss has on worker productivity, absenteeism, and presenteeism.
Not surprisingly, EPIC's "Listen Hear!" survey found that almost all (95%) of employees who suspect they have a hearing problem but have not sought treatment, say they believe their untreated hearing loss impacts them on the job in at least one way. From asking people to repeat what they have said (61%), to misunderstanding what is being said (42%), to even pretending to hear when they can't (40%), the burden that comes with leaving hearing loss unaddressed weighs heavily on America's workers.
Why Addressing Hearing Loss Is a Smart Business Practice
Fortunately, when addressed, hearing loss is largely manageable. The vast majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. Eight out of ten hearing aid users say they're satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives specifically due to their hearing aids.
A national BHI study even found that the use of hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss dramatically -- by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those whose hearing loss was severe to moderate. The study also found that people with severe hearing loss who do use hearing aids are nearly twice as likely to be employed as their peers who do not use them.
Today, most U.S. employers have some type of wellness program. By including hearing tests and hearing health information in workplace wellness programs -- as well as including hearing aids as an employee benefit -- employers encourage workers to treat hearing loss rather than hide it. Not only does this help the worker, but it creates a work environment where employer and employee can team up to ensure that a worker's hearing loss does not interfere with job performance, productivity, safety, quality of life, morale, opportunities, or success in the workplace.
In today's rapidly changing business landscape, where organizations are coming to rely more heavily on maturing workers who have valuable experience and expertise, this employer-employee partnership is critical for bottom-line success.
For a step-by-step breakdown of what to expect, ask, and look for when visiting a hearing healthcare professional and purchasing a hearing aid, download "Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids" at www.BetterHearing.org or http://ow.ly/xvlow.
For information and resources on workplace wellness, along with information on National Employee Wellness Month, visit www.NationalEmployeeWellnessMonth.com.
Five Things Employers Should Know About Hearing Loss & Employee Health
1. Hearing loss is tied to depression. Research shows that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages, but is most pronounced in 18 to 69 year olds. Research also shows that the use of hearing aids reduces depressive symptoms. http://ow.ly/vvZEz & http://ow.ly/vWv7m
2. Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Studies show that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss. When broken down by age, one study showed that those 60 and younger are at greater risk. http://ow.ly/xvn6W
3. Your hearing may say something about your heart. Cardiovascular and hearing health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it's possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body. http://ow.ly/xwLUh
4. Staying fit may also help your hearing. Research on women's health shows that a higher level of physical activity is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss. Conversely, a higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference in women are each associated with a higher risk of hearing loss. http://ow.ly/xvnsj
5. Hearing loss may put you at greater risk of falling and hospitalization. A Johns Hopkins study showed that people in middle age (40 to 69) with even just mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. Another Johns Hopkins study showed that hospitalization is more likely for older adults with hearing loss. http://ow.ly/vwchC http://ow.ly/vwbZe
What's Different About Today's Hearing Aids?
According to the EPIC "Listen Hear!" survey, most people don't realize that hearing aids have come a long way; nor do they realize that hearing aids are eligible expenses for flexible savings accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs).
Hearing aids today are dramatically more advanced than the hearing aids of even just a few years ago. Many of today's hearing aids allow users to hear from all directions, in all sorts of sound environments, and even underwater. They are digital, wireless, can connect directly to your smartphone or television, and can be as discreet or as visible as you like. A new rechargeable feature on some newly designed hearing aids even allows you to recharge your hearing aids every night, so there's no more need for small batteries.
Better Hearing Institute (BHI)
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Jan. 20, 2017 07:00 AM EST Reads: 6,849
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Jan. 20, 2017 07:00 AM EST Reads: 9,065
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
Jan. 20, 2017 06:15 AM EST Reads: 5,460
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive ad...
Jan. 20, 2017 06:15 AM EST Reads: 1,616
"Plutora provides release and testing environment capabilities to the enterprise," explained Dalibor Siroky, Director and Co-founder of Plutora, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jan. 20, 2017 06:15 AM EST Reads: 3,634
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 20, 2017 05:00 AM EST Reads: 2,473
Choosing the right cloud for your workloads is a balancing act that can cost your organization time, money and aggravation - unless you get it right the first time. Economics, speed, performance, accessibility, administrative needs and security all play a vital role in dictating your approach to the cloud. Without knowing the right questions to ask, you could wind up paying for capacity you'll never need or underestimating the resources required to run your applications.
Jan. 20, 2017 04:00 AM EST Reads: 3,940
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Jan. 20, 2017 03:00 AM EST Reads: 856
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
Jan. 20, 2017 02:30 AM EST Reads: 5,024
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
Jan. 20, 2017 02:15 AM EST Reads: 6,050
Security, data privacy, reliability and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house client hosted environments to a cloud platform. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Vandana Viswanathan, Associate Director at Cognizant, In this session, will provide an orientation to the five stages required to implement a cloud hosted solution validation strategy.
Jan. 20, 2017 02:00 AM EST Reads: 3,661
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
Jan. 20, 2017 02:00 AM EST Reads: 6,572
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
Jan. 20, 2017 02:00 AM EST Reads: 5,330
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Jan. 20, 2017 01:45 AM EST Reads: 4,266
Security, data privacy, reliability, and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house, client-hosted environments to a cloud platform. Quality assurance plays a vital role in ensuring that the appropriate level of risk assessment, verification, and validation takes place to ensure business continuity during the migration to a new cloud platform.
Jan. 20, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 1,358