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 have, what position they hold, and how much they earn.

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

It’s not enjoyable to think about what you would do if something took your living away. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anyone who loves their work pay attention.

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

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person with neglected hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. If someone isn’t working full time or has marketable skills that their not making use of and their not making as much money as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.

Those with neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges in almost any occupation. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers need to be able to communicate. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons.

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

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing loss all tend to suffer a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages per year.

How much they lose strongly correlates with the extent of the hearing impairment. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money.

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

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

Being incapable of hearing causes added stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Envision having to focus on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. And missing an essential piece of information is always a concern.

That’s even worse.

While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that someone with untreated hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Both impact your ability to do the work.

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

  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Dementia

Decreased productivity is the result of all this. And given the obstacles that a person with hearing loss experiences at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.

Luckily, this sad career prospect has an upside.

A Career Strategy That Works

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

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

Somebody with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That gets them nearly up to the income of a person in the same field with normal hearing.

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

Hearing aids might seem too costly. They probably don’t recognize that if hearing loss is neglected, it advances more quickly in addition to causing the other health concerns mentioned above.

Considering these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more costly than you recognize. It’s time to have a hearing exam if you’re trying to decide if you should wear hearing aids at work. 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

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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