Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a big part of their self-worth. Their self-image is often based on what job they have, their position, and how much they make.

What’s the first thing you think when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It probably has something to do with what you do for a living.

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

The troubling connection between career success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that career killer.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person with untreated hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. Underemployment is commonly defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they are not working full time or because the work doesn’t make use of all of their marketable capabilities.

Those with neglected hearing loss face many obstacles in almost any line of work. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers need to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it difficult to assist library patrons without her hearing.

Lots of people stay in the same occupation their whole lives. They become very good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to switch to a different career and make a respectable living.

The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap

Somebody with hearing loss earns only about 75 cents to every dollar that someone 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.

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 moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money.

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

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

From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Imagine having to concentrate on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others simply take hearing for granted. Now imagine the stress of missing something important.

That’s even worse.

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

In addition to on the job challenges, people with untreated hearing loss are at increased risk of:

  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Social Isolation
  • Paranoia

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

Fortunately, this sad career outlook has a silver lining.

A Career Solution That Works

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

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

About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for a person with moderate hearing loss. That’s nearly the earning level of someone with normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be managed 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 look “older” because of their hearing loss.

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

In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not addressing your hearing loss may be costing you more than you know. It’s time to have a hearing test if you’re trying to determine if you should wear hearing aids at work. 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.