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 large part of their self-worth. Their self-image is often based on what job they have, their position, and how much they make.

When somebody asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing you think. It probably has something to do with what you do for a living.

It’s not pleasant to think about what would happen if something took your living away. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anyone who loves putting in a good day’s work perk up and listen.

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

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

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

Those with neglected hearing loss face lots of obstacles in almost any line of work. A doctor needs to hear her patients. A construction worker has to hear his co-workers in order to work with each other on a job. Even a librarian would find it difficult to assist library patrons without her hearing.

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

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment

Along with unemployment, those with hearing impairment all have the tendency to suffer a significant wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing makes. Numerous independent studies support this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages per year.

The degree of hearing loss is closely linked with how much they lose. According to a study conducted on 80,000 individuals, even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money.

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

Job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than somebody with normal hearing.

Being unable to hear causes added stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Envision being in a meeting and straining to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing out on an important piece of information is always a concern.

That’s even worse.

While at work or at home, it’s three times more likely that somebody with untreated hearing loss will have a fall. Both impact your ability to do the work.

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

  • Dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Social Isolation
  • Depression

Decreased productivity is the consequence of all this. And given the obstacles that a person with hearing loss experiences at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.

Thankfully, there’s a very bright upside to this dismal career outlook.

A Career Solution That Works

The unemployment and wage gap can be eliminated by getting hearing aids according to some studies.

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, somebody with minor hearing loss who wears hearing aids can eliminate the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.

About 77% of that gap can be removed for someone with moderate hearing loss. That gets them almost up to the income of an individual in the same field with normal hearing.

Despite this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They think that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.

Hearing aids might seem too expensive. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if neglected, not to mention the previously discussed health challenges.

These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into consideration. Leaving your hearing untreated is probably more costly than you recognize. It’s time to get a hearing exam if you’re trying to decide if you should use hearing aids at work. Call us and we can help you figure out 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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