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 job. They base their self-image on what kind 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 that comes to mind. It’s probably to tell them about what you do for a living.

It’s not enjoyable to consider what would happen if something took your career away. But if you value your job, then you should take note of this career-breaker.

That career killer is the disturbing link between neglected hearing loss and career success.

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

Someone with neglected hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. Underemployment is commonly 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.

In practically any occupation, individuals with untreated hearing loss face many challenges. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons.

Lots of people remain in the same line of work their entire lives. They become quite 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 Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing loss all tend to suffer a significant wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar somebody with normal hearing makes. This wage gap is backed by numerous independent studies that reveal that an individual loses as much as $12,000 in wages each year.

The severity of hearing loss is strongly linked with how much they lose. Even individuals with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

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

Someone with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day caused by job stress.

Being unable to hear causes additional stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Picture having to focus on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. And missing out on an essential piece of information is always a concern.

That’s even worse.

Those with untreated hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while at work or at home. Both impact your ability to do the work.

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

  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Social Isolation
  • Depression
  • Paranoia

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

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

A Career Solution That Works

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

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with minor hearing loss who wears hearing aids can get rid of the wage gap by up to 90-100%.

Someone with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That’s about the earning level of somebody with normal hearing.

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

They may assume that hearing aids are simply too costly for them. They probably don’t realize that if hearing loss is neglected, it advances more quickly in addition to causing the other health concerns discussed above.

Considering these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not treating your hearing loss may be costing you more than you know. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing assessment. Contact 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

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.