Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

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

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It probably 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 if you like your job, then you should be aware of this career-breaker.

The troubling link between job success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that livelihood killer.

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

Someone with untreated hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. Underemployment is generally defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they aren’t working full time or because the work does not use all of their marketable skills.

Those with untreated hearing loss face countless obstacles in almost any occupation. Doctors need to be able to hear their 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.

Lots of people stay in the same line of work their whole lives. They become quite good at what they do. If they can no longer execute that job well because of neglected hearing loss, it’s difficult to make a living doing something different.

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss

On top of unemployment, those with hearing loss all tend to experience a significant wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar somebody with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages every year.

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

What Are Some on The Job Struggles That People With Hearing Loss Face?

Someone with neglected hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day due to job stress.

From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Envision having to focus on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now think about the stress of missing something significant.

That’s even worse.

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

On top of on the job challenges, individuals with neglected hearing loss are at increased danger of:

  • Dementia
  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Depression

All of this results in decreased productivity. People who have hearing loss experience so many difficulties, both at work and in their personal lives, unfortunately being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.

Thankfully, there’s a very bright upside to this dismal career outlook.

An Effective Career Strategy

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

The wage gap can be decreased by 90 – 100% for a person with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids, as reported by a study carried out by Better Hearing Institute.

A person with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That gets them almost up to the earning of an individual in the same field with normal hearing.

In spite of this positive news, many individuals leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to appear “older” because of their hearing loss.

Hearing aids might seem too expensive. They most likely don’t recognize that if hearing loss is neglected, it worsens more quickly in addition to triggering the other health concerns discussed above.

Considering these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is likely more expensive than you realize. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing exam. Contact 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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