Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

During the standard working years, many people build much of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. They base their self-image on what type of job they do, what position they hold, and how much they make.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It’s probably to tell them about your occupation.

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

That career killer is the troublesome link between untreated hearing loss and job success.

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

Someone with neglected hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. 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 use all of their marketable expertise.

In almost any occupation, individuals with neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges. 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 hard to help library patrons without her hearing.

Many people work their entire lives in one line of work. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to switch to a different job and make a respectable living.

The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap

Along with unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to suffer a substantial wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is supported by many independent studies that show that an individual loses up to $12,000 in income each year.

The degree of hearing loss is directly associated with how much they lose. According to a study conducted on 80,000 individuals, even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money.

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

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

Being incapable of hearing causes added stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something important.

That’s even worse.

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

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

  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Dementia

Reduced productivity is the result of all this. And given the obstacles that someone suffering from hearing loss experiences at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.

Luckily, this sad career prospect has a silver lining.

A Career Solution That Works

The unemployment and wage gap can be eliminated by getting hearing aids according to some studies.

The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for someone with minor hearing loss who wears hearing aids, as revealed by a study done by Better Hearing Institute.

About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That gets them almost up to the income of a person in the same job with normal hearing.

In spite of this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.

They may assume that hearing aids are just too expensive for them. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if neglected, not to mention the previously mentioned health challenges.

These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into consideration. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more costly than you recognize. If you’ve been undecided about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing assessment. 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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