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 occupation. Their self-image is often based on what job they have, their position, and how much they make.

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.

It’s not pleasant to think about what would happen if something took your career away. But there’s a career-buster out there that should make anybody who loves putting in a good day’s work pay attention.

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

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

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

Those who have untreated hearing loss face many challenges in nearly any line of work. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons without her hearing.

Many individuals work their whole lives in one occupation. They know it really well. If they can no longer execute that job well because of neglected hearing loss, it’s tough to make a living doing something else.

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss

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

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

What Challenges do Those With Hearing Loss Face on The Job?

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

From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never recognize. Envision having to focus on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something significant.

That’s even more stressful.

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. Both impact your ability to do the work.

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

  • Social Isolation
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

Decreased productivity is the consequence of all this. And given the challenges that someone with hearing loss confronts at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.

Fortunately, this sad career outlook has an upside.

An Effective Career Strategy

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

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with slight hearing loss who wears hearing aids can get rid of the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.

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

Even though hearing loss can be corrected it’s not uncommon for people to neglect it during their working years. They may feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.

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

Considering these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is likely more expensive than you recognize. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing assessment. Contact us 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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