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

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 your job.

People don’t want to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hindered. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anybody who loves putting in a good day’s work perk up and listen.

That livelihood killer is the disturbing link between untreated hearing loss and job success.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

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

In nearly any career, individuals with neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to efficiently work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons.

Lots of people remain in the same occupation their entire lives. They become quite good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to change to a different job and make a decent living.

The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap

Along with unemployment, those with hearing loss all have the tendency 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 show that an individual loses up to $12,000 in income each year.

The extent of hearing loss is strongly associated with how much they lose. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with slight hearing loss are potentially losing money.

What Struggles do Those Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?

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

Being unable to hear causes added stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Picture needing to concentrate on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now think about 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 neglected hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Both impact your ability to do the work.

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

  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Paranoia
  • Depression

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

Luckily, there’s a really bright silver lining to this dismal career outlook.

A Career Solution That Works

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

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

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

Even though hearing loss can be corrected it’s not uncommon for people to neglect it during their working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.

They may think that hearing aids are simply too expensive for them. They probably don’t realize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it progresses more quickly in addition to causing the other health problems mentioned above.

In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more costly than you recognize. It’s time to get a hearing exam if you’re trying to determine if you should wear hearing aids at work. 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

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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