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

What’s the first thing you think when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It’s most likely to tell them about what you do for a living.

It’s not enjoyable to think about what would happen if something took your career 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 job success.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person with neglected hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. If a person isn’t working full time or has marketable skills that their not using and their not making as much as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.

Those who have untreated hearing loss face many challenges in nearly any occupation. A doctor needs to hear her 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 line of work. They know it very well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to switch to a different career and make a decent living.

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment

On top of unemployment, those with hearing loss all have the tendency to experience a substantial wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing makes. Many independent studies support this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages per year.

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

What Struggles do Individuals With Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?

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

From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never see. Picture being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing an essential piece of information is always a concern.

That’s even more stressful.

Those with untreated hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while on or off the job. Both impact your ability to do the work.

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

  • Paranoia
  • Dementia
  • Social Isolation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

All of this adds up to decreased productivity. And given the challenges that someone with hearing loss experiences at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.

Luckily, this sad career prospect has a silver lining.

An Effective Career Strategy

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

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

Somebody with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That gets them almost up to the earning of an individual in the same field with normal hearing.

In spite of this positive news, many individuals leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.

Hearing aids might seem too expensive. They most likely don’t comprehend that if hearing loss is left untreated, it worsens more quickly in addition to causing the other health problems pointed out above.

In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is probably more expensive than you recognize. It’s time to have a hearing exam if you’re trying to determine if you should use hearing aids at work. Give us a call and we can help you determine whether hearing aids would help.

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