Hearing Health Blog

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 large part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what kind of job they have, what position they hold, and how much they earn.

When somebody asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It probably has something to do with your job.

It’s not enjoyable to consider what would happen if something took your career away. But there’s a career-buster out there that should make anybody who loves their work perk up and listen.

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

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

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

Those with neglected hearing loss face lots of 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. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons.

Lots of people remain in the same occupation their whole lives. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to switch to a different career 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 somebody with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is backed by many independent studies that show that an individual loses as much as $12,000 in wages each year.

The extent of hearing loss is directly associated with how much they lose. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.

What Are Some on The Job Challenges That Individuals With Hearing Loss Face?

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

Being incapable of hearing causes added stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Envision needing to concentrate on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now imagine the stress of missing something significant.

That’s even worse.

Those with neglected hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a significant fall or other accident while at work or at home. Your ability to work is impacted.

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

  • Paranoia
  • Social Isolation
  • Dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Reduced productivity is the consequence of all this. People with hearing loss face so many obstacles, both at work and in their personal lives, regrettably being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.

Fortunately, this sad career prospect has a silver lining.

A Career Solution That Works

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

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, somebody with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids can erase the wage gap by up to 90-100%.

About 77% of that gap can be eliminated for someone with moderate hearing loss. That’s nearly the earning level of somebody who has normal hearing.

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

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

In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not dealing with your hearing loss may be costing you more than you recognize. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing test. Give us a call and we can help you determine 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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