Hearing Health Blog

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 how much they make.

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

It’s not pleasant to consider what would happen if something took your career away. But if you like your job, then you should be aware of this career-breaker.

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

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed if they have untreated hearing impairment. Underemployment is typically defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they are not working full time or because the work does not use all of their marketable expertise.

Those who have neglected hearing loss face many challenges in nearly any line of work. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. If they’re going to efficiently work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons.

Lots of individuals stay in the same occupation their whole lives. They know it very well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to switch to a different job and make a decent living.

The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap

Someone with hearing loss earns only about 75 cents to every dollar that somebody with normal hearing earns. Numerous independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages per year.

The extent of hearing loss is strongly correlated with how much they lose. Even individuals with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

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

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

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

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.

In addition to on the job challenges, people with neglected hearing loss are at increased risk of:

  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety

All of this results in decreased productivity. People who have hearing loss experience so many obstacles, both at work and in their personal lives, unfortunately being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.

Thankfully, there’s a really bright upside to this dismal career outlook.

An Effective Career Strategy

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

The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for somebody with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as reported by a study carried out by Better Hearing Institute.

Someone with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That’s nearly the earning level of somebody with normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be managed it isn’t uncommon for people to neglect it during their working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.

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

Considering these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more costly than you realize. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing assessment. 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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