Hearing Health Blog

Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is often a huge part of their self-worth. 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 probably has something to do with what you do for a living.

People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hampered. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anybody who loves their work pay attention.

The troubling link between job success and untreated hearing loss is precisely that livelihood killer.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

Someone with neglected hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. If somebody isn’t working full time or has marketable skills that their not making use of and their not earning as much money as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.

Those with untreated hearing loss face many obstacles in nearly any occupation. A doctor needs to hear her patients. A construction worker has to hear his co-workers in order to work with each other on a job. Even a librarian would find it hard to assist library patrons without her hearing.

Lots of people remain in the same line of work their whole lives. They become very good at what they do. If they can no longer execute that job well due to neglected hearing loss, it’s tough to make a living doing something different.

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment

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

The severity of hearing loss is strongly correlated with how much they lose. 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 Challenges That Individuals With Hearing Loss Face?

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

From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never see. Imagine having to concentrate on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now think about the anxiety of missing something significant.

That’s even more stressful.

While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that someone with untreated hearing loss will have a fall. Both impact your ability to do the work.

Somebody with untreated hearing loss is at an increased danger, in addition to job concerns, of the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Social Isolation
  • Paranoia
  • Depression

Decreased productivity is the consequence of all this. And given the challenges that a person with hearing loss confronts at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.

Fortunately, this sad career prospect has a silver lining.

A Career Approach That Works

Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can cancel out the unemployment and the wage gap.

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids can eliminate the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.

Someone with moderate hearing loss can remove about 77% of the gap. That gets them nearly up to the earning of a person in the same field with normal hearing.

Despite this positive news, many individuals leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They may feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.

They may think that hearing aids are simply too costly for them. They most likely don’t recognize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it worsens more quickly in addition to triggering the other health problems pointed out above.

These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into account. Not dealing with your hearing loss may be costing you more than you know. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing assessment. Give us a call and we can help you figure out 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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