Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

During the normal working years, many individuals build a lot of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. They base their self-image on what type of job they do, what position they have, and how much they earn.

When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing you think. It probably has something to do with what you do for a living.

It’s not pleasant to think about what would happen if something took your living away. But there’s a career-buster 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 job success.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed if they have neglected hearing loss. Underemployment is typically defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they are not working full time or because the work does not utilize all of their marketable expertise.

In nearly any career, people with neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons without her hearing.

Lots of individuals stay in the same occupation their entire lives. They become extremely good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to switch to a different career and make a decent living.

The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap

Someone with hearing loss makes only around 75 cents to every dollar that somebody with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages every year.

How much they lose directly correlates with the extent of the hearing loss. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

What Struggles do Individuals With Hearing Loss Face on The Job?

Job stress causes a person with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than someone with normal hearing.

Being unable to hear causes additional stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine having to concentrate on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. And missing a crucial piece of information is always a worry.

That’s even more stressful.

While at work or at home, it’s three times more likely that somebody with untreated hearing loss will have 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:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Social Isolation
  • Dementia

Decreased productivity is the result of all this. People who have 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.

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

A Career Approach That Works

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

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 removed for someone with moderate hearing loss. That’s about the earning level of someone who has normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be corrected it isn’t uncommon for people to neglect it during their working years. They may feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. They don’t want to seem “older” because of their hearing loss.

They may assume that hearing aids are simply too expensive for them. They probably don’t realize that if hearing loss is neglected, it worsens more quickly in addition to causing the other health problems pointed out above.

In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Not dealing with your hearing loss might be costing you more than you know. It’s time to get a hearing test if you’re trying to decide 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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