When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is often a large 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’s most likely to tell them about your occupation.
People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their livelihood was hampered. But there’s a career-buster out there that should make anyone who loves their work pay attention.
That career killer is the disturbing link between untreated hearing loss and career success.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
A person with neglected hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. Underemployment is commonly 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 utilize all of their marketable expertise.
Those with untreated hearing loss face countless obstacles in nearly any occupation. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers need to be able to communicate. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons.
Lots of individuals stay in the same occupation their whole lives. They become extremely good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to change to a different job and make a decent living.
The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap
Somebody with hearing loss makes only about 75 cents to every dollar that somebody with normal hearing earns. Numerous independent studies support this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages every year.
How much they lose closely correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. Even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.
What Struggles do People Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?
Job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than someone with functional hearing.
From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never recognize. Picture needing to focus on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now think about 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 on or off the job. Your ability to work is impacted.
On top of on the job challenges, people with untreated hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
Reduced productivity is the result of all this. And given the obstacles that someone suffering from hearing loss confronts at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.
Fortunately, this sad career prospect has an upside.
An Effective Career Solution
The unemployment and wage gap can be eliminated by using hearing aids according to some studies.
The wage gap can be decreased by 90 – 100% for somebody with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as revealed by a study conducted by Better Hearing Institute.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can get rid of about 77% of the gap. That gets them almost up to the earning of a person 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 may feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. They don’t want to seem “older” because of their hearing loss.
Hearing aids may seem too costly. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if neglected, not to mention the previously mentioned health concerns.
These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into account. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is probably more expensive than you recognize. If you’ve been undecided about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing exam. Get in touch with us so we can help you make that decision.