When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a large part of their self-worth. Their self-image is often based on what job they have, their position, and their pay.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It’s most likely to tell them about your occupation.
It’s not enjoyable to think about what you would do if something took your career away. But if you like your job, then you should be aware of this career-breaker.
That livelihood killer is the disturbing link between neglected hearing loss and job 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 loss. 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 does not make use of all of their marketable expertise.
Those who have neglected hearing loss face countless obstacles in almost any occupation. Doctors need to be capable of hearing 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 hard to help library patrons.
Many individuals work their whole lives in one occupation. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to switch to a different job and make a respectable living.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss
Someone with hearing loss earns only around 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies support this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages every year.
The degree of hearing loss is strongly associated with how much they lose. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.
What Struggles do Individuals Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?
A person with neglected hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day caused by job stress.
Being unable to hear causes additional stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing out on an essential piece of information is always a worry.
That’s even more stressful.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that somebody with neglected hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Your ability to work is impacted.
On top of on the job concerns, people with untreated hearing loss are at increased danger of:
- Social Isolation
Reduced productivity is the consequence of all this. And given the difficulties that a person suffering from hearing loss confronts at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.
Fortunately, this sad career outlook has a silver lining.
A Career Strategy That Works
The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated by wearing hearing aids according to some studies.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, somebody with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids can erase the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.
About 77% of that gap can be eliminated for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That’s nearly the earning level of someone who has normal hearing.
In spite of this positive news, many people fail to treat their hearing loss during those working years. They think that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to seem “older” because of their hearing loss.
They may assume that hearing aids are just too costly for them. They most likely don’t recognize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it advances more quickly in addition to triggering the other health concerns pointed out above.
In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more expensive than you know. It’s time to get a hearing exam if you’re trying to decide if you should wear hearing aids at work. Give us a call and we can help you determine whether hearing aids would help.