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. They base their self-image on what type of job they do, what position they have, and how much they make.

What’s the first thing you think when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It’s most likely to tell them about your occupation.

It’s not pleasant to consider what would happen if something took your career away. But if you like your job, then you should be aware 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

A person with untreated hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. If a person isn’t working full time or has marketable capabilities that their not using and their not earning as much money as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.

In almost any career, people 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 difficult to help library patrons.

Lots of people stay in the same line of work their whole lives. They know it very well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to change to a different job and make a decent living.

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to experience a significant wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar somebody with normal hearing makes. Many independent studies back this wage gap and demonstrate that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages per year.

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

What Struggles do Those With Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?

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

Being unable to hear causes added 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 significant.

That’s even worse.

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

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

  • Dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Social Isolation

All of this adds up to reduced productivity. People with hearing loss face so many difficulties, both at work and in their personal lives, regrettably being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.

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

A Career Solution That Works

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

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

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

Despite this positive news, many people fail to treat their hearing loss during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.

They may think that hearing aids are just too costly for them. They most likely don’t recognize that if hearing loss is neglected, it progresses more quickly in addition to triggering the other health problems mentioned above.

In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Leaving your hearing untreated is probably more expensive than you realize. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing exam. Call us and we can help you decide 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

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