During the normal working years, many people build much of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. Their self-image is frequently based on what job they have, their position, and how much they make.
When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. 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 hindered. But there’s a career-breaker 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.
Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss
A person is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed if they have neglected 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 doesn’t utilize all of their marketable skills.
Those with neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges in nearly any line of work. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to efficiently 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 remain in the same occupation their whole lives. They know it very well. If they can no longer execute that job well due to neglected 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 loss all tend to experience a significant wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies support this wage gap and demonstrate that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages per year.
How much they lose closely correlates with the severity of the hearing loss. According to a study conducted on 80,000 individuals, even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Challenges do People Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?
A person with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day as a result of job stress.
From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Picture having to concentrate on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others simply take hearing for granted. And missing out on a crucial piece of information is always a concern.
That’s even worse.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that somebody with neglected hearing loss will have a fall. Both impact your ability to do the work.
Somebody with untreated hearing loss is at an increased risk, in addition to job concerns, of the following:
- Social Isolation
All of this adds up to decreased productivity. And given the challenges that someone with hearing loss faces at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.
Fortunately, this sad career prospect has a silver lining.
An Effective Career Solution
Studies also reveal that having your hearing loss treated can eliminate the unemployment and the wage gap.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with minor hearing loss who uses hearing aids can erase the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.
Someone with moderate hearing loss can remove about 77% of the gap. That’s nearly the earning level of somebody with normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be corrected it isn’t uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They think that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.
Hearing aids might seem too expensive. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously discussed health challenges.
Considering these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not dealing with your hearing loss might be costing you more than you think. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing exam. Give us a call and we can help you decide whether hearing aids would help.
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