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. Their self-image is frequently 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 that comes to mind. It most likely has something to do with what you do for a living.

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

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

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

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

In practically any career, people with untreated hearing loss experience many challenges. Doctors need to be capable of hearing their patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work with each other on a job. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons.

Many individuals work their entire lives in one occupation. They become quite good at what they do. If they can no longer execute 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

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all have the tendency to suffer a substantial 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 wages every year.

How much they lose directly correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.

What Challenges do Individuals Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Face on The Job?

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

Being unable to hear causes additional stress that other workers don’t endure on a moment-to-moment basis. Envision being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. Now think about the stress of missing something important.

That’s even more stressful.

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

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

  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social Isolation
  • Paranoia

All of this results in decreased productivity. People with hearing loss experience so many obstacles, 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 reveal that getting hearing loss treated can get rid of the unemployment and the wage gap.

The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for someone with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as reported by a study conducted by Better Hearing Institute.

A person with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That gets them nearly up to the earning 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 might feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.

They may think that hearing aids are simply too expensive for them. They most likely don’t realize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it worsens more quickly in addition to causing the other health concerns discussed above.

These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into consideration. Not treating your hearing loss might be costing you more than you think. It’s time to get a hearing test if you’re trying to determine if you should use 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

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