When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is often a big part of their self-worth. 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’s most likely to tell them about your occupation.
People don’t want to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hampered. But if you like your job, then you should be aware of this career-buster.
The troubling link between job success and neglected 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 neglected hearing impairment. 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 doesn’t make use of all of their marketable expertise.
Those with untreated hearing loss face lots of obstacles in nearly any line of work. A doctor needs to hear her patients. A construction worker has to hear his co-workers in order to work together on a job. Even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons without her hearing.
Lots of individuals stay in the same occupation their whole lives. They know it very well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to switch to a different career and make a respectable living.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment
Somebody with hearing loss earns only about 75 cents to every dollar that somebody with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages per year.
How much they lose directly correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. Even individuals with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.
What Are Some on The Job Struggles That Individuals With Hearing Loss Experience?
Somebody with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day as a result of job stress.
Being unable to hear causes additional stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Envision needing to focus on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now think about the anxiety of missing something significant.
That’s even more stressful.
Those with neglected hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while at work or at home. Both impact your ability to do the work.
In addition to on the job concerns, people with neglected hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
All of this results in decreased productivity. People who have hearing loss face so many obstacles, both at work and in their personal lives, regrettably being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.
Fortunately, this sad career outlook has an upside.
An Effective Career Solution
The unemployment and wage gap can be eliminated by using hearing aids according to some studies.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, a person with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids can eliminate the wage gap by up to 90-100%.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That gets them nearly up to the earning of an individual in the same job with normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be managed it’s not uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They may feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. They don’t want to seem “older” because of their hearing loss.
Hearing aids might seem too costly. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously discussed health concerns.
These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into account. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more expensive than you know. If you’ve been on the fence about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing assessment. Contact us and we can help you decide whether hearing aids would help.