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

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

People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hampered. But if you value your job, then you should be aware of this career-buster.

The troubling link between career success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that career killer.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

Someone with untreated hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. If someone isn’t working full time or has marketable capabilities 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 almost 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 difficult to help library patrons without her hearing.

Many individuals work their entire lives in one line of work. They know it really well. If they can no longer execute that job well due to neglected hearing loss, it’s tough to make a living doing something else.

The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all have the tendency to suffer a significant wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing makes. This wage gap is supported by many independent studies that show that an individual loses up to $12,000 in wages each year.

The degree of hearing loss is closely associated with how much they lose. Even individuals with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.

What Challenges do Those With Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?

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

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

That’s even worse.

While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that somebody with untreated hearing loss will have a fall. Your ability to work is impacted.

On top of on the job issues, people with untreated hearing loss are at increased risk of:

  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety

All of this adds up to reduced productivity. And given the obstacles that someone with hearing loss experiences at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.

Fortunately, this sad career outlook has a silver lining.

A Career Solution That Works

The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated 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 erase the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.

About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That gets them nearly up to the earning of an individual in the same field with normal hearing.

In spite of this positive news, many individuals leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They might feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.

They may assume that hearing aids are simply too costly for them. They probably don’t comprehend that if hearing loss is left untreated, it advances more quickly in addition to triggering the other health problems pointed out above.

These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into consideration. Not addressing your hearing loss may be costing you more than you think. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing test. 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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