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 occupation. Their self-image is frequently based on what job they have, their position, and their pay.

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

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

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

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 use all of their marketable skills.

In nearly any occupation, people with neglected hearing loss face many difficulties. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers have 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 remain 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 hard to change to a different career and make a respectable living.

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment

Along with unemployment, those with hearing loss all tend to experience a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing makes. This wage gap is backed by many independent studies that show that a person loses up to $12,000 in wages each year.

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

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

Somebody with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day due to job stress.

Being incapable of hearing causes added stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Picture being in a meeting and straining to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing out on an important piece of information is always a worry.

That’s even worse.

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

On top of on the job challenges, individuals with untreated hearing loss are at increased risk of:

  • Social Isolation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Dementia

Reduced productivity is the consequence of all this. People who have hearing loss experience so many difficulties, 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 outlook has an upside.

An Effective Career Strategy

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

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

Somebody with moderate hearing loss can get rid of about 77% of the gap. That’s about the earning level of someone with normal hearing.

Despite this positive news, many people fail to treat their hearing loss during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.

They may assume that hearing aids are simply too costly for them. They most likely don’t recognize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it progresses more quickly in addition to causing the other health problems discussed above.

These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into consideration. Not dealing with your hearing loss might be costing you more than you know. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing assessment. Get in touch with 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

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