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. They base their self-image on what type of job they do, what position they hold, and how much they make.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It most likely has something to do with what you do for a living.

People don’t want 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 anybody who loves putting in a good day’s work perk up and listen.

The troubling link between career success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that career killer.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed if they have untreated hearing loss. Underemployment is typically defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they aren’t working full time or because the work does not make use of all of their marketable capabilities.

In practically any career, people with neglected hearing loss experience lots of challenges. 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 hard to help library patrons.

Lots of individuals stay in the same occupation their entire lives. They become very 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 Impairment

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to suffer a substantial wage gap, making around 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 strongly correlates with the extent of the hearing impairment. Even individuals with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

What Challenges do Individuals Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job

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 being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something significant.

That’s even worse.

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

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

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Social Isolation

Reduced productivity is the result of all this. And given the challenges that someone suffering from hearing loss deals with at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.

Fortunately, there’s a very bright upside to this dismal career outlook.

A Career Strategy That Works

The unemployment and wage gap can be eliminated by using hearing aids according to some studies.

The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for someone with minor hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as reported by a study done by Better Hearing Institute.

About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for someone with moderate hearing loss. That’s about the earning level of someone with normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be corrected it isn’t uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They might feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.

They may assume that hearing aids are just too costly for them. They most likely don’t realize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it progresses more quickly in addition to triggering the other health problems discussed above.

These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into consideration. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is likely more costly than you recognize. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing assessment. Contact us and we can help you figure out whether hearing aids would help.

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