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 big part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what type of job they do, what position they have, and how much they earn.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It’s probably to tell them about your occupation.

People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hampered. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anybody who loves putting in a good day’s work pay attention.

That livelihood 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 underemployed or unemployed if they have untreated hearing loss. Underemployment is generally defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they aren’t working full time or because the work doesn’t use all of their marketable expertise.

Those with neglected hearing loss face many obstacles in nearly any occupation. 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 individuals work their whole lives in one line of work. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to change to a different job and make a respectable living.

The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap

On top of unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to suffer a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is supported by numerous independent studies that reveal that a person loses up to $12,000 in wages every year.

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

What Are Some on The Job Challenges That Individuals With Hearing Loss Face?

A person with neglected hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day as a result of job stress.

From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Picture being in a meeting and straining to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing out on a crucial piece of information is always a worry.

That’s even worse.

While at work or at home, it’s three times more likely that someone with untreated hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Your ability to work is impacted.

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

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Social Isolation
  • Dementia
  • Depression

Reduced productivity is the result of all this. And given the obstacles that someone suffering from hearing loss experiences at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.

Fortunately, this sad career prospect has a silver lining.

A Career Solution That Works

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

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, somebody with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids can erase the wage gap by up to 90-100%.

Someone with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That gets them almost up to the income of a person in the same job with normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be managed it isn’t uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They may feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.

Hearing aids may seem too expensive. They probably don’t recognize that if hearing loss is neglected, it worsens more quickly in addition to triggering the other health problems discussed above.

These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into consideration. Not treating your hearing loss may be costing you more than you think. If you’ve been on the fence about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing exam. Get in touch with us so we can help you make that decision.

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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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