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 kind of job they have, what position they have, and how much they make.
What’s the first thing you think when someone asks, “So what do you do”? It’s most likely to tell them about your occupation.
It’s not pleasant to consider what would happen if something took your living away. But if you value your job, then you should be aware of this career-buster.
The troubling connection between career success and untreated hearing loss is precisely that career killer.
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 does not utilize all of their marketable capabilities.
In nearly any career, individuals with neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work with each other on a job. Even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons without her hearing.
Lots of people stay in the same occupation their entire lives. They become very good at what they do. If they can no longer do that job well because of untreated hearing loss, it’s tough to make a living doing something else.
The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap
In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to experience a substantial wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is backed by numerous independent studies that show that an individual loses up to $12,000 in income each year.
How much they lose closely correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Are Some on The Job Challenges That People With Hearing Loss Deal With?
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 other workers don’t endure on a moment-to-moment basis. Envision needing to concentrate on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now think about the anxiety of missing something important.
That’s even worse.
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 issues, people with neglected hearing loss are at increased danger of:
- Social Isolation
Decreased productivity is the consequence of all this. And given the challenges that someone suffering from hearing loss faces 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 Strategy
Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can cancel out the unemployment and the wage gap.
The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for somebody with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as reported by a study carried out by Better Hearing Institute.
Someone with moderate hearing loss can get rid of about 77% of the gap. That gets them nearly up to the income of a person 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 might feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.
They may think that hearing aids are just too expensive for them. They most likely don’t realize that if hearing loss is neglected, it progresses more quickly in addition to causing the other health problems discussed above.
In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. 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 get a hearing exam. Contact us and we can help you determine whether hearing aids would help.