During the typical working years, many people build much of their perceived self-worth up around their job. They base their self-image on what type 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’s most likely to tell them about what you do for a living.
It’s not pleasant to consider what you would do if something took your living away. But if you value your job, then you should take note of this career-buster.
That livelihood killer is the disturbing link between untreated hearing loss and career success.
Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss
A person is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed if they have untreated hearing impairment. Underemployment is generally 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 skills.
Those who have untreated hearing loss face many obstacles in nearly any occupation. Doctors need to be capable of hearing their patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers need to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it hard to assist library patrons without her hearing.
Lots of people stay in the same line of work their entire lives. They become quite good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to switch to a different career and make a decent living.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss
In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all have the tendency to experience a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is supported by many independent studies that show that a person loses as much as $12,000 in wages every year.
The degree of hearing loss is directly associated with how much they lose. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Struggles do Those Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?
Job stress causes somebody with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than someone with functional hearing.
Being incapable of hearing causes added stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine needing 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 untreated hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a significant fall or other accident while at work or at home. Your ability to work is impacted.
In addition to on the job challenges, people with neglected hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
All of this results in reduced productivity. People who have 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.
Luckily, this sad career prospect has an upside.
A Career Solution That Works
Studies also reveal that having your hearing loss treated can eliminate the unemployment and the wage gap.
The wage gap can be decreased by 90 – 100% for somebody with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids, as reported by a study conducted by Better Hearing Institute.
About 77% of that gap can be removed for a person with moderate hearing loss. That gets them nearly up to the income of an individual in the same field with normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be managed it’s not uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to appear “older” because of their hearing loss.
Hearing aids may seem too costly. They probably don’t realize that if hearing loss is neglected, it progresses more quickly in addition to causing the other health concerns discussed above.
These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into account. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is probably more costly than you know. It’s time to get a hearing test if you’re trying to determine if you should use hearing aids at work. Call us and we can help you determine whether hearing aids would help.