Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a big part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what kind of job they have, what position they hold, and how much they make.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks, “So what do you do”? It’s probably to tell them about what you do for a living.

It’s not pleasant to consider what would happen if something took your living away. But if you value your job, then you should take note of this career-breaker.

That career killer is the disturbing link between neglected hearing loss and career success.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person with untreated hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. If somebody isn’t working full time or has marketable skills that their not making use of and their not making as much as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.

Those with untreated hearing loss face countless challenges in nearly any occupation. A doctor needs to hear her patients. A construction worker has to hear his co-workers in order to work together on a job. Even a librarian would find it hard to assist library patrons without her hearing.

Many individuals work their whole lives in one line of work. They become very good at what they do. If they can no longer perform that job well due to neglected hearing loss, it’s tough to make a living doing something else.

The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap

Someone with hearing loss earns only around 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies back this wage gap and demonstrate that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages every year.

How much they lose strongly correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. According to a study conducted on 80,000 individuals, even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money.

What Struggles do Individuals With Hearing Loss Face on The Job?

Someone with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day as a result of job stress.

From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Imagine having to focus on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now think about the stress of missing something important.

That’s even worse.

Those with untreated hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while on or off the job. Both impact your ability to do the work.

In addition to on the job concerns, people with untreated hearing loss are at increased risk of:

  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Dementia
  • Anxiety

Decreased productivity is the consequence of all this. People with hearing loss experience so many difficulties, both at work and in their personal lives, regrettably being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.

Fortunately, there’s a really bright upside to this dismal career outlook.

An Effective Career Solution

The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated by using hearing aids according to some studies.

The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for a person with minor hearing loss who wears hearing aids, as reported by a study conducted by Better Hearing Institute.

A person with moderate hearing loss can remove about 77% of the gap. That’s about the earning level of someone who has normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be managed it isn’t uncommon for people to disregard it during their working years. They might feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.

Hearing aids may seem too costly. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously discussed health challenges.

These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into consideration. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is likely more costly than you recognize. If you’ve been on the fence about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing exam. Give us a call and we can help you determine whether hearing aids would help.

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References

https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/fulltext/2013/02001/Hearing_Loss_Linked_to_Unemployment,_Lower_Income.2.aspx

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