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Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

During the normal working years, many people build much of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. They base their self-image on what kind of job they do, what position they have, and how much they make.

What’s the first thing you think when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It probably has something to do with your job.

It’s not pleasant to consider what you would do if something took your living away. 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.

That career killer is the disturbing link between neglected hearing loss and job success.

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

Someone with neglected hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. 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 doesn’t utilize all of their marketable capabilities.

Those who have untreated hearing loss face lots of challenges in almost any line of work. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. A construction worker needs 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.

Many people work their entire lives in one occupation. They know it very well. If they can no longer do that job well because of untreated hearing loss, it’s tough to make a living doing something different.

The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to experience a substantial wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is supported by many independent studies that reveal that a person loses up to $12,000 in income every year.

The degree of hearing loss is directly linked with how much they lose. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

What Struggles do Individuals Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?

Somebody 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 added stress that peers don’t endure on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine needing to focus on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now imagine the stress of missing something significant.

That’s even more stressful.

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

In addition to on the job issues, individuals with untreated hearing loss are at increased danger of:

  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Paranoia

Reduced productivity is the consequence of all this. People with 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.

Fortunately, this sad career prospect has an upside.

A Career Approach That Works

Studies also show that having your hearing loss treated can get rid of the unemployment and the wage gap.

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

About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for someone with moderate hearing loss. That gets them almost up to the income of an individual in the same job with normal hearing.

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

They may think that hearing aids are just too expensive for them. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously discussed health concerns.

In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not addressing your hearing loss might be costing you more than you know. If you’ve been on the fence about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing assessment. Call 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.