Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is often a huge part of their self-worth. Their self-image is frequently based on what job they have, their position, and how much they make.

When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It most likely has something to do with what you do for a living.

It’s not enjoyable to think about what would happen if something took your career away. But there’s a career-buster 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 untreated hearing loss and career success.

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

A person is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed if they have untreated hearing impairment. If someone isn’t working full time or has marketable capabilities that their not using and their not making as much as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.

In nearly any career, people with untreated hearing loss experience lots of challenges. A doctor needs to hear her patients. A construction worker has to hear his co-workers in order to work together on a job. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons.

Lots of individuals stay in the same occupation their entire lives. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to change to a different job and make a decent living.

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to experience a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing makes. This wage gap is backed by many independent studies that show that a person loses as much as $12,000 in income each year.

The severity of hearing loss is closely correlated with how much they lose. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.

What Struggles do People Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Face on The Job?

Somebody with neglected hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day caused by job stress.

Being incapable of hearing causes added stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine being in a meeting and straining to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. Now think about the stress of missing something significant.

That’s even worse.

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

Someone with untreated hearing loss is at an increased danger, in addition to job concerns, of the following:

  • Dementia
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety

All of this results in reduced productivity. People who have hearing loss experience so many difficulties, both at work and in their personal lives, unfortunately being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.

Fortunately, this sad career outlook has a silver lining.

An Effective Career Strategy

Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can cancel out the unemployment and the wage gap.

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

About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for a person with moderate hearing loss. That gets them nearly up to the income of a person in the same job with normal hearing.

In spite of this positive news, many individuals leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to appear “older” because of their hearing loss.

Hearing aids might seem too expensive. They most likely don’t comprehend that if hearing loss is neglected, it worsens more quickly in addition to causing the other health concerns pointed out above.

In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is probably more expensive than you realize. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing exam. Contact us 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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