When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a big part of their self-worth. Their self-image is often based on what job they have, their position, and how much they make.
What’s the first thing you think when someone 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 anyone who loves their work pay attention.
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 underemployed or unemployed if they have untreated hearing loss. If someone isn’t working full time or has marketable capabilities that their not using and their not earning as much money as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.
Those who have neglected hearing loss face lots of obstacles in nearly any line of work. Doctors need to be able to hear 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 difficult to help library patrons.
Many people work their entire lives in one occupation. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to switch to a different career and make a decent living.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss
On top of unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to experience a substantial wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar somebody with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies support this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages every year.
The severity of hearing loss is strongly linked with how much they lose. 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 a person with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than someone with functional hearing.
Being unable to hear causes added stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine being in a meeting and straining to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing a crucial piece of information is always a worry.
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.
Someone with untreated hearing loss is at an increased risk, in addition to job challenges, of the following:
- Social Isolation
All of this adds up to decreased productivity. And given the obstacles that someone with hearing loss experiences at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.
Fortunately, there’s a really bright silver lining to this dismal career outlook.
An Effective Career Strategy
The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated by getting hearing aids according to some studies.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with slight hearing loss who wears hearing aids can get rid of the wage gap by up to 90-100%.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can get rid of about 77% of the gap. That’s nearly the earning level of someone who has normal hearing.
In spite of this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to appear “older” because of their hearing loss.
Hearing aids might seem too expensive. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously mentioned health concerns.
These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into consideration. Not treating your hearing loss may be costing you more than you think. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing assessment. Call us and we can help you decide whether hearing aids would help.