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Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

During the standard working years, many individuals build a lot of their perceived self-worth up around their job. They base their self-image on what type of job they have, what position they hold, and how much they earn.

When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing you think. It’s most likely to tell them about your occupation.

People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their livelihood was hindered. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anyone who loves putting in a good day’s work perk up and listen.

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

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed if they have neglected hearing impairment. 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 doesn’t utilize all of their marketable skills.

Those who have neglected hearing loss face many challenges in nearly any occupation. Doctors need to be capable of hearing their patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work with each other on a job. 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 entire lives. They become very good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to change to a different career and make a decent 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. This wage gap is supported by numerous independent studies that show that a person loses as much as $12,000 in income every year.

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

What Are Some on The Job Challenges That People With Hearing Loss Deal With?

Someone with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day as a result of job stress.

Being incapable of hearing causes additional stress that other workers don’t endure on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine having to focus on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now think about the anxiety of missing something important.

That’s even more stressful.

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.

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

  • Social Isolation
  • Dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia

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

Luckily, this sad career prospect has an upside.

An Effective Career Solution

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

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

Someone with moderate hearing loss can remove about 77% of the gap. That’s nearly the earning level of someone who has normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be corrected it’s not uncommon for people to disregard it during their working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to look “older” because of their hearing loss.

Hearing aids may seem too expensive. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if neglected, not to mention the previously discussed health challenges.

These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into account. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more costly than you realize. It’s time to get a hearing exam if you’re trying to decide if you should use hearing aids at work. Give us a call 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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